PARIS, France – Danielle Collins moved through to the third round of the French Open with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over exciting teenager Clara Tauson.
The Dane, who was hampered by a left thigh issue that required treatment between sets, had overcome No.21 seed Jennifer Brady in a two-hour 45-minutes three-set thriller in the opening round – as well as three lengthy qualifying matches – and was unable to match the level she had shown in her first career Top 100 win.
Collins, who lost the first four games of her first-round encounter with Monica Niculescu, made an express start, winning the opening two games, and though she was pegged back, raced away with the opening set. The World No.57 then fought back from behind in the second before closing the match out in one hour 11 minutes.
Playing in her third Rolland Garros, Collins made a confident start, reeling off six successive points, including a break to love, before she was given notice of the danger her 17-year-old opponent possesses as she struck a couple of sweet backhands down the line to introduce herself belatedly to the match.
That same shot was to the fore as she got on the board then broke to level, but 2019 Australian Open girls’ champion would not win another game in the opening set.
Collins proved to be too consistent, making just five unforced errors to her 17-year-old opponent’s 12 as both struck eight winners in the first frame.
Tauson, who won just three of 10 points on her second serve in the opener, did try to change her tactics up, but when she came to the net, she was unable to handle the quality of Collins’ passing shot.
A routine hold from the American No.10 brought the opening set to a close in 31 minutes.
Tauson made a promising start to the second, earning an early break point by utilizing the dropshot, which she rarely employed in the opener. A positive reaction to a looping Collins’ backhand sealed an early break to give her a 2-0 lead.
But it proved false hope as the 26-year-old stepped up her game, crushing two return winners on route to a break to love, which was the start of a sequence of 10 successive points in her favor. An unreturned serve brought an end to the run but did not halt her momentum as a nice drop put her a break to the good.
Tauson did not readily accept defeat. She arrested a run of four games against her by holding serve then won a break point that was admirably swatted off by Collins.
It proved to be the last moment of danger for the American, who broke once again, using successive dropshot returns, to set up a third-round meeting with Kristyna Pliskova or No.11 seed Garbiñe Muguruza.