She's a two-time NCAA champion, a Top 100 debutante, and with your votes, Danielle Collins is the Breakthrough of the Month in March.
WTA Staff
April 6, 2018

She's a two-time NCAA champion, a Top 100 debutante, and now she's your March Breakthrough of the Month.

American Danielle Collins skyrocketed nearly 60 spots up the rankings by virtue of her performances in Indian Wells and Miami, but if her words are anything to go by, the 24-year-old is keeping her feet squarely on the ground. 

Collins clinched a wildcard to the BNP Paribas Open by virtue of her performance in the Oracle Challenger Series, and made it count by reaching the fourth round. The American defeated qualifier Taylor Townsend from a set down in the opening round, before stunning US Open finalist Madison Keys in the second round in straight sets for her first victory against a Top 20 player.

She continued her run by defeating fellow wildcard for former Wimbledon junior champion Sofya Zhuk, before seeing her run ended at the hands of Carla Suárez Navarro. 

Read more: Getting to Know: Danielle Collins ready for impact

She followed up on her run in Indian Wells with an ever better one in Miami, where she became the first qualifier to ever reach the semifinals in Key Biscayne.

After defeating Tereza Smitkova and Jana Cepelova to qualify, she ousted Irina-Camelia Begu, CoCo Vandeweghe, Donna Vekic, Monica Puig and Venus Williams before falling to eventual runner-up Jelena Ostapenko in the final four. 

"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. And if I win the match, I win the match and it's awesome," Collins said after defeating Williams, whom she described as an idol. 

"If I lose the match, I lose the match knowing that I did everything in my power to put myself in the best situation. I'm looking forward to what's in the future, and I just try to be in the moment and not think about the future too much, not think about the past too much."

Looking ahead for Collins will come with a new ranking: after starting the month well outside the Top 100, Collins ended it at a new career-best just outside the Top 50 at World No.53. 

Her breakout month has already seend her achieve one of her goals for the season, which has yet to reach its halfway point, and has her eyes firmly looking towards the second.

"I would love to get myself in the Top 100 and play main draw of every Slam," she told WTA Insider at Indian Wells. "We'll see if that happens. There are certain things I have to apply in my game to get there. My coach holds me accountable for that. I have a good team around me that's always pushing me to work towards those goals."

Final Results for March's WTA Breakthrough of the Month

1. Danielle Collins (79%)
2. Amanda Anisimova (21%)


How it works:

Finalists are selected by wtatennis.com
Winner is then determined by a fan vote on wtatennis.com

Previous WTA Breakthroughs of the Month for 2018
January: Hsieh Su-wei
February: Daria Kasatkina