Collins follows Miami win with victory at Charleston Open

Danielle Collins powered to her second straight WTA title, following her Miami Open victory with the Charleston Open championship on Sunday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Danielle Collins is loaded with confidence and belief in what she can accomplish in her final season after following her Miami Open title with the Charleston Open championship on Sunday.

Collins powered past 11th-ranked Daria Kasatkina for a 6-2, 6-1 victory Sunday, her career-best 13th straight match win as she became the first since Serena Williams in 2013 to follow a hard-court victory at Miami with one on the green clay of Charleston.

And she’s open to even more in what is the 30-year-old’s final season on tour.

“I’m just trying to keep this train rolling,” Collins said after winning her fourth WTA title. “Really be myself out there and not think too much about what’s next.”

No one’s been more dominant the past two weeks than the “Danimal,” the nickname she coined when she signed up for Instagram out of college.

She showed that again this week, dropping just one set in six matches — it was a second-set loss to 2023 Charleston winner Ons Jabeur — to lift a second straight trophy.

She led 3-0 in the opening set, where she broke Kasatkina’s serve twice as the crowd cheered the American’s every move.

Collins didn’t let up in the second set, taking a 5-0 lead before the Russian held serve.

Collins closed the match with a volley at the net, pumping her fist as her face broke into a smile.

Kasatkina, who is ranked 11th, played with a heavy wrap on her right thigh. She struggled with her serve throughout, regularly putting herself behind.

The way Collins has played, it was an impossible hole from which to dig out.

“At first, I wanted to say I’ll miss you on tour but after this match I’m not sure,” Kasatkina said during the trophy ceremony. “To be honest, I’m going to miss you because you’re such a character. Your personality is amazing. Tennis is going to lose a lot after you’re done.”

Collins had dealt with painful endometriosis, where tissue in the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can cause difficulty getting pregnant if not treated and Collins made a life decision to end her career for other goals like having children.

Her recent success has not changed her perspective or plans for retirement.

“I’m really happy that I can showcase my best tennis in these last couple of events, because I think that’s the way I want to go out,” she said. “I want to go out with my best results. I know everyone has a different way of retiring and ending their career, but for me I want to try to go out playing my best tennis.”

Collins never thought about cancelling plans for Charleston after her success at Miami. She drove home to Tampa, then drove herself to Charleston. She does not have a full-time coach or many of the staffers that some WTA players travel with.

“I guess, I’m just a low-maintenance gal,” she joked.

She did have her boyfriend, Bryan Kipp in the stands, along with her beloved dog, Quincy, who she shouted out to the crowd after receiving the trophy.

“I better wrap this up, but he sees me,” Collins said.

Collins, who is ranked 22nd, has won 26 of her past 27 sets. She will take a few days off before playing in Madrid later this month.

“Hopefully,” said Collins, “when Madrid comes around, I am back in ‘Danimal’ mode.”

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