Danielle Collins’ hopes for another deep run at the Australian Open are still alive.

It didn’t look like that would be the case after the first set of her third-round match, however, as the former Cavalier and two-time NCAA champion gave up the first set and it looked like she would have her last run in Australia. Open cut short by Denmark’s Clara Tauson, the world’s No. 39 ranked women’s singles player.

Collins started the game strong, holding serve, then breaking Tauson, then holding serve to take a 3-0 lead out of the gate. Tauson dodged a 0-4 hole by winning the next match, but Collins again held serve to come back 4-1.

Then Collins began to unravel.

Tauson held serve and then won a hard-fought eight-point game to break Collins. Tauson won the next game on serve to level the set at 4-4, then Collins double faulted twice before losing another game. Tauson held serve to clinch the 6-4 victory in the opening set after winning five games in a row, a remarkable feat for the underdog on top seeded No. 27 Collins.

Collins finally ended that losing streak with a serve victory to start the second set without dropping a point. Despite all the struggles in the first set, Collins was still in a position to regain control of the game.

Clara Tauson had other plans.

Tauson won the next three games, breaking Collins’ serve for the third time in the match, and took a 3-1 lead in what could have been the final set of the match.

Collins regained his footing in game five, holding serve without dropping a point, but Tauson responded with a perfect service game to make it 4-2, bringing the Dane within two games of upsetting Collins.

Collins held serve and then, after losing the first point of the next game, won four straight to grab a crucial break and level the set at 4-4.

Just like the whole match, the ninth game of the second set was a marathon. Collins and Tauson went back and forth, going twice, two of which ended in a run for Tauson to give him two break point opportunities. Had Tauson been able to break Collins again, she would have served for the match in the next game.

Instead, Collins fought off both break points and eventually closed the match with an ace. Sensing a bit of exhaustion from his opponent, Collins seized the opportunity and broke Tauson’s serve to win the second set 6-4 and even the match at one set apiece.

The third set was a fitting conclusion to an engrossing tennis match.

Collins and Tauson held serve for the first ten games, but it was not without difficulty, as many games went to two multiple times before being won by the server.

With the deciding set tied at 5-5, Collins double faulted to start her service game but rallied to claim the next four points to make it 6-5.

At that time, Tauson essentially ran on fumes. After two unforced errors from Tauson, Collins finished the game two straight backhand winners.

After two hours and thirty-five minutes of intense tennis, Collins emerged victorious with the victory 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

With this win, Collins advances to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the second time in her career. In 2019, Collins burst onto the scene with an incredible five-fight winning streak, which included an upset victory over No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber in the fourth round, and ended up advancing to the semifinals.

In the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open, Collins is set to face Belgium’s Elise Mertens, the Australian Open’s No. 19 seed and the No. 26 ranked women’s singles player in the world.

Collins and Mertens will meet on Sunday (time TBD) with a trip to the quarter-finals on the line.

Danielle Collins also competes in the women’s doubles tournament and she is partnered with fellow American Desirae Krawczyk. After a long singles match against Tauson, Collins had to turn around and play her next doubles match on the same day.

In the second round, Collins and Krawczyk faced another American pair, Jessica Pegula and Asia Muhammed, the No. 13 seeds in women’s doubles. Collins and Krawczyk defeated Pegula and Muhammed in straight sets 6-3, 7-6.

In the third round, Collins and Krawczyk are set to face the Czech duo of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, the No. 1 seeds in the women’s doubles tournament, on Sunday (time TBD).

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