| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: USTA/Mike Lawrence

 

The run of American qualifier Danielle Collins continued on with a major upset over eight-seed and three-time champion Venus Williams on Wednesday night.

The former two-time NCAA singles champion from the University of Virginia needed just one hour and 27 minutes to dispatch Venus 6-2, 6-3 and book her spot in the Miami Open semifinals.

“I obviously have an incredible amount of respect for Venus, but you kind of have to take the name out of it and just focus on the tennis part and play one point at a time, and use your tactics that you come up with your coaches,” said Collins. “That’s exactly what I did.”

The win is the first over a Top 10 opponent for the 93rd-ranked Collins, and she now becomes the first qualifier to ever reach the semifinals in Miami.

“I have put in the hard work my whole life, so at the end of the day, I know I have done literally everything I can do to put myself in the best situation,” said Collins. “And if I win the match, I win the match and it’s awesome. If I lose the match, I lose the match knowing that I did everything in my power to put myself in the best situation.”

She will look to maintain that mentality when she meets sixth-seed Jelena Ostapenko in the semifinals. Ostapenko ousted fourth-seed Elina Svitolina 7-6(3), 7-6(5) earlier in the day.

In other quarterfinal action on Wednesday, American Sloane Stephens rolled past Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-2 to set up a matchup with Victoria Azarenka, who continued her spirited run in Miami with a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over fifth-seed Karolina Pliskova.