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Collins wins Miami Open on final try for 1st WTA 1000 title

Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Danielle Collins had the perfect send-off at her final Miami Open, beating Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday to capture the title in her home state before an adoring crowd that included Andre Agassi and Martina Navratilova.

The 30-year-old Collins announced at the Australian Open that this season would be her last because she's suffering from endometriosis, an ailment that affects the uterus.

Ranked No. 53 and unseeded, Collins was animated throughout the two-hour match against the fourth-ranked Rybakina, pumping her fist and staring up at the crowd that featured a big American flag early in the third row. It was too much for the ragged Rybakina, who hit several backhands long.

On her fourth match point, Collins hit a backhand crosscourt winner, then bent over for 10 seconds without moving, seemingly in disbelief.

It was the third career title and first since San Jose in 2021 for Collins, who became the lowest-ranked women's champion at Miami. She leaves with $1.1 million in prize money and will move up to 22nd in the rankings.

Collins, who was born in St. Petersburg, also won NCAA singles titles at Virginia in 2014 and 2016.

In winning the first set in an hour, Collins survived four break points at 3-3. She closed out that game and faced another break-point crisis at 5-5. She won three straight points — a backhand winner, a service winner and a forehand passing shot — as the crowd thundered.

Rybakina saved two break points while trying to serve her way into a tiebreaker. Collins finally seized the set as Rybakina nervously poked a backhand deep on the third set point.

Rybakina left the court for five minutes in between sets and Collins got off to a fast start with an early break. Rybakina broke back but then squandered three break points at 3-3, hitting two straight backhands long, giving Collins the momentum.

Collins broke at 4-4 as Rybakina hit a swinging volley into the net, then pounded another backhand long on break point.


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