US pro tennis player Danielle Collins was looking to upset Australian star Ashleigh Barty, in the first Grand Slam final of 2022. However, Collins couldn’t stop the Barty party, when the Australian got the better of her in the third set of the game. Despite this defeat, Collins is poised to become US number 1, vaulting over four others on the list. 

Collins, who walked away proud after the defeat, said, “Not the result that I wanted obviously, but I gave it my best effort. I did everything that I could. I was pushed to the max, and I gave myself a chance there in the end. Unfortunately it didn’t go my way, but I did everything I could, and that’s all you can do at the end of the day”, as per AFP. 

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The 28-year-old from Florida will reach the top spot, leapfrogging over competitors and compatriots Sofia Kenin, Cori Gauff, Jessica Pegula and Jennifer Brady, who were all ranked between 13 and 28, at the start of the tournament. Collins, who was at 30th place, as per world rankings, will now be in the top ten. This is a result of her ranking points coming from the phenomenal performances during the two weeks at Melbourne. To sweeten the pie, Collins has also won $1.1 million for reaching the finals. 

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Her stellar performance against the home favourite is a testament to Collins’ grit in the face of health issues. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2019, and more recently, went under the knife for endometriosis – a gynaecological issue where the tissue lining the womb grows outside it. 

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Since her surgery, Collins has won two WTA titles and reached a Grand Slam final. Speaking after the tournament, Collins stated, ”

I’m honestly just lucky to be out here competing, and to have gotten this far has been incredible with some the adversity I’ve faced physically early on in the tournament – I would not be able to do what I did today without the medical staff and dedicated physios who have worked around the clock”.