The life of an elite athlete is rarely straightforward but Danielle Collins has had to fight harder than most.
In April, the American was undergoing emergency surgery for endometriosis and had suffered an abdominal injury at the French Open.
Fast forward to 2022 and the 28-year-old has just progressed into the semifinals of the Australian Open after she beat France’s Alize Cornet 7-5 6-1 on Wednesday.
“It feels incredible. I think especially after some of the health challenges that I’ve had to be able to get back to this level and be able to compete the way that I have been, being able to be as physical as I have been has been so rewarding,” Collins said after the quarterfinal win.
The Floridian has always been candid about her health struggles and says the pain from her endometriosis – a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it – was some of the worst she’s ever experienced.
“I got to the point where I could no longer manage without it,” she told the WTA website in August last year, adding that she was in extreme pain particularly during her menstrual cycles.
“Had I not had the surgery, I just couldn’t keep living my life like that. The agony that I experienced from my menstrual cycles and from the endometriosis is some of the worst pain I’ve ever had.”
Collins credits the surgeon for saving her career and she’s now playing some of the best tennis of her life since bursting onto the scene with a semifinal run in Melbourne in 2019.
Her performance against Cornet showed plenty of evidence that Collins is a force to be reckoned with in this competition.
She was in dominant form from the baseline and proved she has the energy to compete in the sweltering Australian heat – powering through the second set in just 30 minutes.
The world No.30 now faces another tough challenge against seventh seed Iga Swiatek on Thursday for a place in what would be her first grand slam final.