In a first-round clash between two former Top 10 players who have had some of their top successes at the Australian Open, 2022 finalist Danielle Collins defeated 2016 champion Angelique Kerber 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at the year's first Grand Slam event on Tuesday.

Here are some takeaways from the marquee match on 1573 Arena:

Collins extends Melbourne magic: Collins, the former World No.7 from the United States, excels at the Australian Open. She has had the two best Grand Slam results of her career Down Under -- a breakthrough run to the semifinals in 2019, and a trip to her first major final in 2022.

In that 2022 Australian Open final, Collins pushed then-World No.1 and Aussie hope Ashleigh Barty to two tight sets before finishing as runner-up. After Tuesday's win over Kerber, Collins now holds a 16-5 career win-loss record at the tournament.

The American's power prevailed in the end: Coming into Tuesday's matchup, Collins could look back on one of those previous Melbourne victories as inspiration -- en route to her 2019 semifinal, Collins dispatched then-No.2 seed Kerber 6-0, 6-2.

Five years later, Collins had a much more difficult time, but she still took charge in the 1-hour and 52-minute showdown with her power game.

"I was really happy with how I played," Collins said afterward. "It was nice to have a longer match to get some court time and kind of settle into things, and get a good challenge, because ultimately you want to play these types of matches and it’s what makes tennis fun." 

Collins slammed 16 winners in the first set to Kerber's four. However, Collins' high-risk game led to a patch of errors in the last three games of the second set, where Kerber's trademark grit held sway.

But Collins regrouped with exceptional returns in the third set -- where she had break points in every Kerber service game -- and she claimed six consecutive games to win.

"I was very relentless about my strategy," Collins said. "Even when it wasn’t working, and there were times when I made mistakes, I was pretty kind to myself and accepting those, and then just trying to come back and do the best that I could the next shots. It’s never easy when you play against a Grand Slam champion in the first round."

Kerber's comeback in swing: Despite the loss, former World No.1 Kerber is officially back in the Grand Slam mix after 17 months off tour for maternity leave. Kerber, who played her last major before this week at 2022 Wimbledon, gave birth to her daughter Liana last February.

The three-time Grand Slam champion came back to action two weeks ago, where she was part of the victorious German team at the 2024 United Cup. Kerber has started this season 1-5 in singles, but three of those losses have been to Top 20 players at the mixed-team event.

"Before I came back, I said I need the patience to come back, to having matches and to feel good on court," Kerber told the press. "Also, it's a completely new situation also off court, so I have to get used to that, and that needs time. I'm fine with that. I take my time, and hopefully I can play better and better in the next few weeks."

Swiatek awaits for Collins: In the extremely challenging micro-section at the top of the draw, Collins will next face another multiple-Grand Slam champion, World No.1 Iga Swiatek, in Thursday's second round.

Swiatek had a tricky first-round match of her own before she got past 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin 7-6(2), 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

"Tough opponent in the first round, tough little bracket that we have," Collins said. "But I just think it speaks so much to the level of women’s tennis right now, and the depth that we have."

Once again, Collins can look back on a key Melbourne memory to give her optimism. Swiatek leads their head-to-head 4-1, but Collins' one win over the Pole was at the 2022 Australian Open, where she zoomed to a 6-4, 6-1 semifinal victory and booked a spot in her first Grand Slam final.