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Tennis star in rarefied air after run of success

Danielle Collins, a native of St. Petersburg, adds to her prize money and expands her team as she racks up wins on the WTA tour.

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Women’s Tennis Association star Danielle Collins, a native of St. Petersburg, has started the 2022 season with some of the best results of her career.

Collins, 28, made it to the finals of the Australian Open in January, losing to Aussie Ash Barty. That run catapulted Collins’ ranking to No. 10 in the world — the highest of her career.

Earlier this month, Collins withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, due to an illness, but she’s come roaring back at the Miami Open, advancing to the quarterfinals of that event. In her first-round match, she bested Anna Bondar of Hungary in three sets, then she steamrolled Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-4. On Monday, she was again at her best, thrashing the eighth-seeded Ons Jabeur, of Turkey, 6-2, 6-4, in a match that took just over an hour to play.

By advancing to the quarterfinals, Collins’ earnings at the Miami Open, thus far, total $377,245, a significant addition to her career haul of $4,966,711.

"I've had some of my best results after coming back from injuries or having a little bit of time off at the end of the year,” Collins said in her post-match press conference after defeating Jabeur. “I try to tell myself that when I feel a little off or rusty."

However, the road ahead doesn’t get any easier — far from it. Collins, seeded ninth at Miami, will face four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka of Japan in the quarterfinals.

Speaking to the media after her win over Zvonareva, Collins says the earnings from her recent run of success will allow her to build out the support team that travels with her.

“I'm looking forward to, in a couple weeks, having a full-time physical therapist on the road with me,” she says. “I think that's going to make a really big difference in my career. I'm counting down the days.”

During the 2021 season, Collins was in the unique position of being sponsored not by a huge multinational corporation, such as Nike or Adidas, but rather a company based in her hometown: Dynasty Financial Partners.

Although Dynasty's partnership with Collins has come to an end, the firm sponsors two other athletes with local ties: IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais, a resident of St. Pete, and pro golfer Chase Koepka, who lives in Jupiter but is a University of South Florida graduate.

(This story has been updated to clarify that Danielle Collins is no longer sponsored by Dynasty Financial Partners.)


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