Danielle Collins Opens Up About Her Battle With Endometriosis Following Australian Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Danielle Collins Opens Up About Her Battle With Endometriosis Following Australian Open Win

The tennis star is relishing her resurgence on the Tour after having a cyst ‘the size of a tennis ball’ removed from her ovary.

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Image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/

America’s Danielle Collins says she feels more ‘free’ playing on the court after undergoing surgery to treat a long-standing medical issue last year.

The world No.30 is through to the semi-finals of the Australian Open after defeating France’s Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-1, on Wednesday. Collins, who didn’t turn professional until her early twenties after going to college, has dropped only two sets in five matches played at Melbourne Park this year. Against Cornet, she won 90% of her first service points and produced 28 winners to set up a clash with Iga Swiatek in the next round.

“I feel pretty good right now. I had a great match today. Have had some great matches along the way at this tournament and I’m really happy about how I’m feeling physically and mentally.” She said afterwards.

It is only the second time Collins has reached the last four of a major in her career after doing so at the same tournament back in 2019. Since that breakthrough, she has experienced mixed results on the Tour which was partly linked to severe pain caused by a medical condition.

Collins suffers from endometriosis, which is a long-term condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Symptoms include pain in the back, heavy periods and it could even affect a person’s ability to get pregnant. The pain was so severe that during the 2021 Australian Open she collapsed on court and required medical attention.

It was a few weeks after that experience when Collins underwent surgery to remove “a cyst the size of a tennis ball” from her ovary, as well as other materials in her bowel and bladder.

“There was a level during that time before I had my diagnosis and before I had surgery of when something is progressively getting worse, it’s a slow progression, I think your body in some ways gets used to it,” she explained following her win over Cornet.
“When so much of the advice you’ve gotten over the years, certainly the advice that I had gotten over the years, is that painful periods are normal, taking anti-inflammatories on a regular basis is normal. I felt like it was something that I just had to deal with.’
“It finally got to the point where I couldn’t deal any longer with it physically or mentally. Once I was able to kind of get the proper diagnosis and the surgery, I feel like it’s helped me so much not just from a physical standpoint but from a mental standpoint.”

According to the Royal College of Nursing, it is estimated that 10% of the world’s female population suffer from some form of endometriosis. The cause of the condition is unknown and it takes an average of 7.5 years for a person to be diagnosed with the condition from when they first start experiencing symptoms.

“When you’re dealing with that type of physical pain multiple weeks out of the month, you’re not putting yourself in a position to be able to perform consistently and to be at your best whether as an athlete or a person.” Collins explained.
“I think I certainly feel a lot freer (since surgery). Not having to deal with the symptoms that I used to deal with, that not being a continuous issue that I’m dealing with on a daily basis.”

So far in her career the 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 23rd in the world and has won two Tour titles last year. Since July she has achieved a win-loss record of 31-7 on the Tour and has only ever lost to a player ranked outside the top 40 twice in a major.

Some may wonder where Collins would have been in her career if she had received her endometriosis diagnosis earlier in life. Nevertheless, she is just grateful that doctors have found a solution to her pain.

“It certainly could have benefited me but it’s just one of those things that didn’t happen,” she said. “Now it’s great that we know what was going on, we were able to go in surgically and fix it.’
“I’m able to live my best life and be able to feel like a normal person.”

Proclaiming she is now ‘physically stronger’ than two years ago, Collins now has a shot of reaching the Australian Open final. She has previously said she hopes speaking publicly about her condition will raise awareness, especially among the sporting world.

“I think there’s certainly a science behind looking at your menstrual cycles, consulting with doctors who specialize in these types of conditions, to be able to help maybe recognize if some of those injuries could be related to something hormonally or if it could be endometriosis, especially with back injuries and lower abdominal injuries. I think it’s an important discussion that medical teams can have with athletes.” She concluded.

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai

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Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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Emma Raducanu Among Trio of Grand Slam Winners Handed Miami Open Wild Cards

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has avoided the possibility of having to go through qualifying at the Miami Open after being awarded a wild card for the event on Thursday. 

The 2021 US Open champion is among four players to have received passes into the main draw of the prestigious event, which is classed as a WTA 1000 for the women and as a Masters 1000 for the men. It will be the third straight year that Raducanu has played in Miami but she is yet to win a match there. In 2022 she lost her opening match to Katerina Siniakova before getting beaten by Bianca Andreescu 12 months later. 

Raducanu has won two out of five Tour-level matches played so far this year. Recently her agent, Max Eisenbud, hit back at those who have criticised the tennis star’s results since winning the US Open. Raducanu also missed a chunk of last season due to injury after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery. 

“The girl did everything backward. She skipped every step. She won the US Open, she went to the next tournament, she didn’t even know where the player lounge was, she didn’t know where the practice courts were,” Eisenbud told the Served With Andy Roddick podcast.
“I don’t think just being tough on her or critical on her like any other player [is wrong]. But she is still figuring it out. I just think that people should not be malicious.”

Other players to have received wild cards into Miami include Venus Williams, who is a three-time champion at the event but hasn’t won the title since 2001. The 43-year-old hasn’t played on the Tour since August and is currently ranked outside the world’s top 400. 

Carolina Wozniacki completes the line-up of former Grand Slam winners being given wild cards. The Dane was a Miami finalist back in 2017 and has made 12 appearances at the tournament. Earlier this week, she suffered a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, loss to Anna Blinkova in the first round of the San Diego Open. 

As for the men’s tournament, the only confirmed wild card recipient is Kei Nishikori who will be making his first competitive start since July 2023. Recently the injury-stricken Japanese player added Thomas Johansson to his team. 

The Miami Open will get underway on March 17th.

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