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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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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Lorenzo Sonego claims the title in Metz

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Lorenzo Sonego beat seventh seed Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 after 87 minutes in the final of the Moselle Open in Metz to win the third title of his career and the first in 2022 without dropping a set in the whole week after beating Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinal. Sonego won his first tournament on hard-court.

 

Sonego, who was playing the fifth final of his career, saved three break points at 2-2 to hold serve in the fifth game of a hard-fought first set. Bublik saved a set point on return at 4-5 down with a backhand passing shot. 

Sonego won four consecutive points from 3-3 in the tie-break with two mini-breaks to claim the opening set 7-3 after 57 minutes. 

Sonego broke serve in the third game at 15 to take a 2-1 lead, as Bublik made a volley error on the break point. The former Vienna finalist earned a double break at 30 in the fourth game to take a 4-1 lead with a passing shot. Sonego closed out the win with a hold at 15 on his first match point. 

Sonego has extended his lead in the head-to-head matches against Bublik to 4-0. 

“I improved my tennis every day, and I am really happy for this match and this tournament. I like the atmosphere here. It was unbelievable today, yesterday and this week. It’s really tough to play against Alexander, because he is an unbelievable player with an amazing serve, good talent, and it is always tough to play him”, said Sonego. 

Sonego has reached his first ATP Tour final since Eastbourne in June 2021.  With this title he has moved up to world number 44 in the ATP Ranking. 

Bublik had won his first ATP title on French indoor courts in Montpellier last February. “Big congratulations to Lorenzo. It’s always a pleasure to lose against you, as I told you at the net. Thanks to my team, thanks to everyone for supporting me and I was happy to be back in the finals in France”, said Bublik.

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In-Form Liudmila Samsonova Storms To Tokyo Title

Tokyo is the second tournament this year the Russian has won without dropping a set.

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Liudmila Samsonova has continued her rapid surge on the Tour by defeating China’s Qinwen Zheng 7-5, 7-5, to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. 

 

The world No.30 dropped serve only once and hit four aces as she edged her way past rising star Zheng who is the first Chinese teenager to reach the final of a Tour-level singles event. Overall, Samsonova won 68% of her service points en route to becoming the first Russian player to win the tournament since Nadia Petrova in 2012. 

“It’s amazing, I don’t have too many words right now. I need a little bit of time,” said Samsonova, who beat Grand Slam champions Elena Rybakina and Garbine Muguruza earlier in the draw. 
“It was a really tough match. She is playing amazing. It was a nervous match, we were fighting every point. It was tough.”

Samsonova is becoming a formidable force in the women’s game and has now won 18 out of her past 19 matches. Last month she also won titles in Washington and Cleveland before reaching the last 16 of the US Open for the first time in her career at the age of 23. She is now 4-0 in tournament finals and didn’t drop a set in Tokyo this week. 

“I played a high level in all my five matches. I am incredibly happy about how I managed it,” she said.

There is also a reason for Zheng to celebrate with her run in Tokyo securing her place in the world’s top 30 for the first time on Monday when the rankings are updated. Making her the first Chinese player to do so as a teenager. She is also only the second teenager to reach the final of a WTA 500 event or higher this season after Coco Gauff at the French Open. 

Samsonova will also rise to a ranking high on Monday to just outside the world’s top 20. 

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Team Europe leads 8-4 over Team World 8-4 heading into the final day at the Laver Cup

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Novak Djokovic cruised past Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-3 after 72 minutes to earn Team Europe a 6-4 lead over Team World at the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London. 

 

Djokovic also won the doubles match with Matteo Berrettini to put Europe into a 8-4 lead before the final day on Sunday.

Djokovic was playing his first match since his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last July, when he beat Nick Kyrgios. The Serbian player holds a 1-1 at the Laver Cup, after losing his only previous match at this tournament against Kevin Anderson in 2018. 

Djokovic did not drop a point on serve in the first set against Tiafoe and faced just one break point in the entire match. He held serve at love in the opening game. 

Tiafoe held in the second game with a service winner. Djokovic won his second service game to take a 2-1 lead before breaking serve in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. 

Djokovic hit another service winner in the fifth game to hold his third consecutive service game. Djokovic rallied from 0-30 down to earn his second break with a crosscourt forehand winner building up a 5-1 lead. 

Djokovic closed out the first set at love 6-1 in the seventh game with a backhand down the line after 22 minutes. 

Djokovic converted a break point in the opening game of the second set with a backhand winner. Tiafoe earned a break point with a backhand down the line winner in the second game. Djokovic saved it to build up a 6-1 2-0 lead. Tiafoe held serve in the third game with a winner at the net. Djokovic held serve with an ace down the T line at love In the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. 

Tiafoe fended off a break point in the fifth game with a backhand crosscourt winner and held another chance with a lucky net cord winner. Djokovic hit an ace to hold serve for 4-3. Tiafoe netted a backhand to face two match points, as he was serving to stay in the match in the ninth game. Djokovic converted his first match point to earn his 24th  win this season. 

“I have not played for two months and I am really glad to have continued the run, It was a pretty decent match from my side”, said Djokovic.

Earlier today Matteo Berrettini edged Felix Auger Aliassime 7-6 (13-11) 4-6 10-7 in a hard-fought match to put Team Europe ahead 4-2. Berrettini sealed a very long tie-break on his sixth set point in the first set 13-11 in the first set after more than 20 minutes. Auger Aliassime needed just one break in the thirdto win the second set 6-4. Berrettini earned a 7-2 lead with two mini-breaks in the Super tie-break. Auger Aliassime pulled one mini-break back for 5-8, but Berrettini sealed the win 10-7 on his first match point after 2 hours and 15 minutes.  Berrettini has extended his lead in his head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime to 4-1. He beat his 22-year-old Canadian rival in last year’s edition of the Laver Cup. 

“It’s always a great fight against Felix. We played for 2 hours and 15 minutes. He is a hell of a player. I had to play my best tennis in the Match tie-break to win. I am really happy because I didn’t win just for me but for the team. Having the chance to live what we lived yesterday is something that’s going that’s going to be stuck in my heart and my brain forever. I am not lying when I say that I am here because of Federer. He was the one that I was looking up to. He was the one that I was supporting, cheering for him”, said Berrettini. 

Taylor Fritz then edged past Cameron Norrie 6-1 4-6 10-8 to draw the tie level to 4-4 before Djokovic cruised past Tiafoe to give Europe a 6-4 lead. The 21-time Grand Slam champion teamed up with Berrettini to beat Jack Sock and Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-2 in 1 hour and 22 minutes.

Team Europe leads 8-4 heading into the final day. Europe will win a fifth cnnsecutive title with two more victories.

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