Madrid: Aryna Sabalenka creates comeback, ends Danielle Collins' big winning streak

Sabalenka came back from a set down to beat Collins in the Madrid round-of-16.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Madrid: Aryna Sabalenka creates comeback, ends Danielle Collins' big winning streak
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Aryna Sabalenka impressively came back from a set down to beat Danielle Collins at the Madrid Open and snap the American's 15-match winning streak.

Sabalenka, seeded at No. 2, made a slow start against recent Miami Open champion Collins but then stormed back to beat the 13th-seeded American 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the Madrid round-of-16.

By beating Collins, 2023 Madrid champion Sabalenka improved her winning streak at Caja Magica to nine wins. Also, Sabalenka kept her perfect record against Collins and improved to a 5-0 head-to-head against the 2022 Australian Open finalist.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

For a place in the quarterfinal, Sabalenka will play against Mirra Andreeva, whom she defeated in their lone meeting that came in the Madrid round-of-16 last year.

How Sabalenka came back to beat Collins?

In the first set, Collins blew an early break but broke Sabalenka again in the sixth game en route to opening a 5-2 lead. With Sabalenka serving to stay in the first set in the eighth game, Collins missed out on two set points and then also failed to serve out for the opener in the following game.

But just when it seemed that Sabalenka might create an epic first-set comeback, Collins broke the Belarusian again in the 10th game - the game in which the world No. 2 was serving to stay in the opener.

Late in the second set, Sabalenka saved two break points in the eighth game and then broke Collins in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead before serving out for a decider in the following game.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

After winning the second set, Sabalenka started the third set with back-to-back breaks and a 3-0 lead. In the fourth game, Collins managed to get one break back but Sabalenka claimed her third break of the set in the ninth game - the game in which the American was serving to stay in the match.

“It was a tough battle. She played unbelievable tennis. Thank you guys for staying and supporting us. That’s why I really love Madrid. You guys are unbelievable. You make this tournament special. Thank you so much for all the support and an incredible atmosphere," Sabalenka said after beating Collins.

Aryna Sabalenka Danielle Collins
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