American No.27 seed Danielle Collins opened up about recent health battles, after winning through to her first Grand Slam semi final in three years.
The 28-year-old played in the penultimate round of the Australian Open in 2019 but since then her best result has been the 2020 quarter finals of the French Open. Last season she never finished better than a third-round exit.
But what most people didn’t know was what was going on behind the scenes last year.
Collins was secretly fighting endometriosis – a condition that effects about one in every 10 women.
“It feels incredible, especially after some of the health challenges I’ve had,” Collins told Jelena Dokic after beating French veteran Alize Cornet in straight sets today.
“To be able to get back to this level, to be able to compete like the way I have been and being able as I’ve been as physical as I have been, it’s so rewarding especially playing against the girls I have been playing against.”
Collins’ pain was so severe at times last year that she had to resort to serving underarm during matches.
She had surgery midway through the year, and is now back to being one of the biggest hitters on the women’s tour.
After winning her quarter final two days ago, she spoke about how tough 2021 had been.
“I think any time you’re going to have a surgery like I had, I think any athlete would find it less than ideal and nerve-racking knowing how your body is going to recover after that type of surgery,” she said.
“It’s extremely painful and scary, because there is a lot of important things in life that you learn about during those surgeries.”
Collins won the first set 7-5 and was then dominant in the second to win 6-1, cementing her place in the penultimate round.
She will take on either Iga Swiatek or Kaia Kanepi in the semi finals, depending on the result of today’s later game.