“I Have Nothing to Lose”: Serena Williams Reflects on Clash With ‘Crowd Favorite’ Ashleigh Barty

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23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams kick-started her 2021 season at a lead-up tournament to the Australian Open 2021. She has comfortably made it to the quarterfinal to meet the 13th seed, Danielle Rose Collins. And the final result went in favor of the American queen.

To begin the match, the 39-year-old won the toss and chose to serve. She was in a great mood for the match and piled the pressure on her countrywoman right from game one. Given the stakes, a semi-final spot, the pair couldn’t afford to give anything but their best.

Serena Williams denies Danielle Rose Collins the first set

Unsurprisingly, Serena Williams got the first lead in the game, and she also broke Danielle’s first two serves. It was clear that the former World No.1 did not want the match to go to the third set.

Tennis – Yarra Valley Classic – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 5, 2021, Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her quarter-final match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

On the other side, the 27-year-old American professional was looking for the 50th tour-level win of her career. Since Williams was leading 4-0 in the game, the pressure was heavy on Danielle’s shoulders.

But she remained collected and broke the World No.11’s serve to love in the fifth game. She even saved a break from being 40-0 down. Moreover, the current World No.45 gave Serena quite the challenge.

However, the four-time Olympic Gold medallist remained at the top of her game and won the first set 6-2, hitting only five winners, including two aces.

Collins leveled with Serena, 10-match tiebreaker came into play

Tennis – Yarra Valley Classic – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 5, 2021, Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her quarter-final match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Even though Serena continued to be on top, her young American opponent started the second set on a much better note. She returned aggressively, delivered delicate drop shots, and broke the opponent’s serve thrice. She leveled the match at 6-2, 4-6.

Due to a positive COVID-19 test on Wednesday, all matches had been abandoned on Thursday. And as a result of that, all third sets will be played in as a 10-match tiebreaker set.

Serena v Collins: The power-packed tiebreaker

The young American played incredibly throughout the match, but couldn’t keep it up in the tie-breaker set. Serena held her composure and comfortably found her place in the semi-finals match tomorrow. The final score read, 6-2, 4-6, 10-6.

After the match, Serena said, “I felt good to get through that in the tie-breaker, it was definitely different. But Danielle plays so good in Melbourne and around the world. She is such a good player, so I knew today wouldn’t be easy. So I am glad to get through it.”

The win against Collins means Serena will meet the Australian World No.1 Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals of the tournament. On that, she said, “I feel great, I have nothing to lose going into that match. It’s going to great for me and her. She’s obviously a crowd favorite and whenever I am not playing against her, I am rooting for her.”

By all means, the Yarra Valley Classic has been a successful event bringing in great matches before the start of the Australian Open 2021.

Who do you think will make it to the finals of the tournament?

Also Read: “She Has a Chance”: 3-time Major Champion on Serena Williams Winning 24th Slam at Australian Open 2021

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