Danielle Collins has special message for 'idol' Serena Williams amid major farewell

Collins took a moment to show some major respect and appreciation for Serena and Venus Williams.

by Dzevad Mesic
Danielle Collins has special message for 'idol' Serena Williams amid major farewell
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Danielle Collins paid a very special tribute to Serena Williams and Venus Williams as the back-to-back WTA champion says she "resonated" with the Williams sisters and they made her believe she could also make it one day in tennis despite not being from the richest of family. 

Collins, 30, continued her impressive farewell tour on Sunday as she demolished No. 4 seed Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1 in the Charleston final. For Collins, it was her second consecutive WTA title as previously she won her first WTA 1000 title at the Miami Open. 

Just as her career is about to end, Collins has started playing some of her best tennis and enjoying one of the biggest successes of her career. Now, Collins is on a 13-match winning streak - the longest of her career - and she has also returned to No. 15 in the world - just a few weeks ago, the American was the 56st-ranked player in the world. 

After winning Charleston and getting to have a proper farewell in front of her home fans, Collins took a moment to show major respect and appreciation to her parents, who made all of this possible. When doing that, the 2022 Australian Open finalist also explained the role the Williams sisters had in her tennis journey.

Danielle Collins and Serena Williams
Danielle Collins and Serena Williams © Getty Images Sport - Adam Pretty

“Growing up, Serena was my idol. I think the Williams sisters taught all of us it doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter what you look like, your background, or how much money your parents have. If you set your mind to something and work your tail off, anything is possible," Collins said on Tennis Channel. 

"I resonated with their story. My dad was my coach. We were at public parks. My parents were driving me all around and working double, triple shifts just so they could support my dream. 

"Having those two as idols and people to look up too... I definitely feel like sometimes the way I try to hit my shots is a byproduct of watching Venus and Serena play. To have their support and for them to be so vocal... I feel so grateful. They’re amazing on and off the court. Every time they say something nice about me I just totally blush. I fangirl a little bit. I gotta admit. If you guys are watching this, I love you guys. So thank you.”

Collins not changing her retirement plans 

After falling just short to Iga Swiatek in an Australian Open second-round thriller, former world No. 7 Collins very relaxedly announced it was her last year on the Tour. 

But considering how much success Collins has had over the last couple of weeks, many have been curious if there is even a slight chance of the American reconsidering her retirement plans. 

Following her Charleston win, Collins repeated once again that she is battling with a chronic inflammatory disease that is impacting her plans to have a baby. For the American tennis star, the goal is to finish her career in the best way possible and then focus on her motherhood goals. 

"With my set of challenges, it’s a very personal decision. And it’s great that I’ve made the decision that is best for me," Collins said after winning Charleston.

"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. 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."

Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins © Getty Images Sport - Elsa

Collins was absolutely ruthless in Charleston

After Collins played and won seven matches on the hard courts of Miami, not many thought that the 30-year-old would opt to have a quick change and play on the clay courts of Charleston just a few days later. But Collins did exactly that as she ended up six matches - five in straight sets and one in three sets to lift back-to-back titles and her fifth WTA title.

In the final against Kasatkina, Collins delivered another brutal performance as she broke the Russian in the second game and opened an early 3-0 lead. In the fourth game, Collins had two break points to go up by a double break but Kasatkina survived that game and managed to get on the board. 

However, it didn't change much as the American kept pressing Kasatkina and she won the first set after breaking the Russian for the second time in the set in the eighth game, when the No. 4 seed was serving to stay in the final.

After winning the first set, Collins made an emphatic start to the second set, claiming back-to-back breaks for a 5-0 lead before routinely serving out for the title in the seventh game. 

Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins © Getty Images Sport - Elsa

Collins will now take some time to rest and recharge before presumably returning to action at the Madrid Open later this month.

Danielle Collins Serena Williams Venus Williams