Jan. 28, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Danielle Collins, a two-time NCAA singles champion and former player with the Virginia women’s tennis team, took the next step in her professional career on Sunday as she won the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, Calif.
Collins rallied in the finals to defeat Sofya Zhuk of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. It is the first Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title for Collins.
The title helps position Collins for a wild card into the 2018 BNP Paribas Open, which is granted to the top American finisher in the two Oracle Challenger Series events. The next Oracle Challenger Series event takes place in Indian Wells in four weeks.
Collins rattled off five straight wins to secure the title on Sunday. She opened with a 6-2, 7-6 (4) win over Marie Bouzokova of the Czech Republic before rallying for a 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 win over fellow American Jamie Loeb in the second round. Collins then defeated Su Jeong Jang of South Korea in the third round 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 for a berth in the semifinals.
In her semifinal match, she defeated seventh-seeded A. Tomljanovic of Croatia 6-4, 6-3 to set up the finals match with Zhuk.
A three-year letterwinner at Virginia from 2014-16, Collins won the NCAA Women’s Singles Championship in 2014 and again in 2016. She is the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to win two NCAA singles championships and only the seventh woman overall to win multiple NCAA singles titles.