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American Collins overpowers Swiatek to reach first Grand Slam final

The 28-year-old American smashed 27 winners as she dominated the semi-final from start to finish

Danielle Collins SF AO 2022 AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Australian Open 2022 | Draw | Order of play 

American Danielle Collins blasted her way into her first Grand Slam final on Thursday as she swept aside seventh seed Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-1 at the Australian Open.

The 27th seed, who reached the semi-finals in Melbourne in 2019, battered 27 winners and jumped all over the Swiatek second serve as she raced to victory in one hour, 18 minutes. She’ll play world No 1 Ash Barty in the final on Saturday after the Australian beat Madison Keys in the first semi-final.

“It feels amazing. It’s been such a journey, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s so many years of hard work. It’s just incredible to be on this stage. Especially with the health challenges, I couldn’t be happier.

Playing in her first slam semi-final since winning her first Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2019, Swiatek went into the match as favourite but Collins came out swinging and landed numerous killer blows.

Storming start from Collins, holds off mini-fightback

The American had emergency surgery last April for endometriosis and in her second slam semi-final, was determined to make up for lost time. The 28-year-old raced to a 4-0 lead and after swapping breaks, extended it to 5-2. Swiatek, who fought back to win an epic semi-final against Kaia Kanepi, saved two set points and got one of the breaks back but Collins closed out the first set.

Swiatek took a bathroom break at the end of the set but nothing was going to break Collins’ rhythm and the American stormed ahead 4-0 in the second set. This time there was no fightback from Swiatek as Collins held her nerve to clinch victory and set up the biggest match of her life. By the end of the match, a shell-shocked Swiatek had won just three of 21 points on her second serve.

Iga Swiatek SF AO 2022
AI/Reuters/Panoramic

Collins excited to take on Barty in final

Barty has won three of her four matches with Collins but the American said she was relishing the opportunity.

“We’ve had some incredible battles over the years and to play against the No 1 in the world in her home slam…looking forward to having a good match and battling away with Ash,” she said.

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