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Sharp-shooting Collins fires past Halep at Rome

Danielle Collins claimed the first ever clay-court meeting between herself and Simona Halep on Wednesday evening in Rome.

Danielle Collins Madrid Open May 1, 2022, MADRID, MADRID, SPAIN: Danielle Collins of United States in action against Bianca Andreescu of Canada during the Mutua Madrid Open 2022 celebrated at La Caja Magica on May 01, 2022, in Madrid, Spain. || 229360_0006 2022 PRESS SOCCER sport tennis zagency zlast24 zselect ZTENNIS Zuma zwire

American Danielle Collins, the No 7 seed, put forth a blistering performance to send 2020 Rome champion Simona Halep packing, 7-6(1), 6-3.

Collins rounds out the Round of 16 at the Foro Italico, which will feature nine seeded and seven unseeded players. The American will square off with unseeded Amanda Anisimova on Thursday in Rome.

Collins was quick off the mark and took the play to Halep throughout the contest. She fired 24 winners in the opening set and finished with 38 against just 12 for the Romanian. Collins broke serve six times and won 60 percent of return points against Halep’s second serve to improve to 2-1 lifetime against the two-time major champion.

The 81-minute opening set was a real tug-of-war. Once Collins made her way through the tiebreak she quickly sauntered out to a 4-0 lead in set two. Halep made a push but it wasn’t enough to get her back on serve. The 21st-ranked Romanian drops to 19-6 on the season with her loss, while Collins improves to 11-4.

Halep has played the final three times at Rome, in 2017, 2018 and 2020. She drops to 21-9 lifetime at the Foro Italico, and 4-2 on clay in 2022.

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