Miami champ Danielle Collins, 30, stresses health issues that are ending her career

After the biggest win of her career in Miami, Collins was asked if there was a chance of her changing her retirement plans.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Miami champ Danielle Collins, 30, stresses health issues that are ending her career
© Getty Images Sport - Elsa

Danielle Collins described her Miami run as "a dream come true" but later underlined that her first WTA 1000 win changes nothing in her retirement plans as her health challenges are still there and addressing them properly is her next big goal. 

Collins, who turned 30 in December, defeated No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina 7-5 6-3 in the Miami Open final for her first WTA 1000 title and her first WTA 1000 title. What makes this win particularly interesting and special is the fact that it came in the midst of 30-year-old Collins' farewell tour. 

On Saturday, a sold-out crowd came to support Collins, including the great Andre Agassi who also paid a visit to watch the final. 

"I mean, what a dream come true to have played at the level that I have played consistently over the last two weeks. This has been such a journey for me," Collins said.

"30 years old, you know, this was the finals of my first 1000, and it's been a different journey than I think a lot of the stories that we're familiar with."

Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins© Getty Images Sport - Elsa
 

Collins on her health challenges

For years now, Collins has been dealing with certain health challenges that have been affecting both her career and her personal life. 

After struggling with pain and discomfort in certain body parts for quite some time, Collins learned in 2019 that she was battling rheumatoid arthritis. At the time, Collins felt relieved to finally get to know what was causing her trouble, and with the help of treatment and a proper plan, she was able to resume her career. 

But two years later, another health challenge struck Collins, who was diagnosed with endometriosis and had emergency surgery to remove a tennis ball-sized cyst. Endometriosis, a female reproductive system disease, causes severe pain and is making it harder for women battling the disease to get pregnant. 

Collins, who has been very open about her desire to become a mother, says her plan is still in place as she will retire at some point this year and then focus on some other life things.

"No, I'm not (smiling). Thank you, though," Collins answered when asked if she was reconsidering retirement.

"I feel like all of these questions are coming from such a good place, because I feel like a lot of people would like to continue seeing me play well.

"But like I said, I have some health challenges, and with those health challenges, it makes things for me away from the court a little more difficult. I hope everyone can respect that. It's a very emotional and personal thing."

Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins© Getty Images Sport - Elsa
 

Collins' big admission about a back injury

After retiring injured from her Austin quarterfinal match due to a back injury, Collins shared she went to Indian Wells but there she couldn't do really much and had to often be assisted by her boyfriend. For Collins, to be dealing with back pain and discomfort at the start of the Sunshine Double was devastating. 

In Indian Wells, Collins started with a tight two-set win over Mirra Andreeva but then suffered a 3-6 0-6 second-round defeat to Iga Swiatek. 

"Yeah, two weeks ago looked a little different. I was coming off a back injury that happened in Austin. I was devastated not to be able to finish out that tournament, because that's also a really important event for me. It's one of my home tournaments and one of my favorite events of the year," Collins said.

"Then I went to Indian Wells and had multiple days off in a row. I had a few days, not exaggerating, I literally, like, couldn't walk. I was having to have my boyfriend help me a lot. It was awful. There were a lot of tears about, oh, my gosh, I have played all these tournaments, I have worked so hard for this, and now we're at Indian Wells and Miami and this is happening, like, why?"

Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins© Getty Images Sport - Elsa
 

After exiting Indian Wells early and dealing with a back injury, Collins had to react quickly and luckily she was able to find the right solution.

"Luckily with I think the help of the physical therapy and chiropractor we were able to kind of get it under control and make some adjustments too with some of my training and recovery and got it to a place where it was more manageable. After Indian Wells I was able to get a couple good days of practice," Collins said.

While Collins' back condition improved and she was able to play, she admitted to feeling "a little nervous" going into Miami because she didn't have a practice where she really tested herself to the limits. 

But in Miami, Collins looked absolutely outstanding as her lone three-set came in the first round against Bernarda Pera, while all of her other six wins came in two sets.

Danielle Collins
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