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Collins powers on, into Adelaide International quarters

  • Matt Trollope

Danielle Collins continues to announce herself as an Australian Open 2020 contender.
The world No.27 posted a commanding 6-3 6-1 win over seventh seed Sofia Kenin on Wednesday at the Adelaide International to reach her second straight quarterfinal, after progressing to the same stage in Brisbane.
It is her fourth singles win from five outings in 2020 – all four victories have been dominant affairs – and it sets up a meeting with either fourth seed Belinda Bencic or former world No.10 Julia Goerges. 
Also advancing to the quarterfinals was Dayana Yastremska, who got past Angelique Kerber after the German retired with a back injury, and Donna Vekic, who beat Maria Sakkari in three sets.
No.6 seed Aryna Sabalenka saw off qualifier Brenda Pera, and along with Collins, Yastremska and Vekic joined top two seeds Ash Barty and Simona Halep in the last eight, after the Australian and the Romanian won their second-round matches on Tuesday.

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In men’s action, recent ATP Doha champion Andrey Rublev, the third seed, brushed aside Sam Querrey 6-3 6-3, while No.4 seed Pablo Carreno Busta was similarly convincing during his 6-3 6-2 dismissal of Jeremy Chardy.
Rublev and Carreno Busta, plus Albert Ramos-Vinolas and qualifiers Lloyd Harris and Tommy Paul, joined Dan Evans in the quarterfinals at Memorial Drive.

Later, local wildcard Alex Bolt ignited the home crowd with an upset win over Jan Lennard Struff. His 6-3 6-4 win saw him notch his first ever tour-level quarterfinal. 
Collins’ victory, meanwhile was all the more impressive given she revealed she had been struggling with illness.
"Today was a bit of a struggle for me – I've been having a hard time keeping food down and I've been pretty sick and dealing with some stuff,” she said. 
“But I think I faced the adversity well and just tried to come out here and be the best competitor that I could be.”
Perhaps intent on getting off the court as quickly as possible, Collins wrested control of many rallies with a powerful first strike, attacking Kenin’s vulnerable serve and not letting her countrywoman get her teeth into the long, gritty rallies in which she thrives.
Collins smacked 22 winners to Kenin’s five throughout the 70-minute contest while keeping her unforced error tally to just nine.

‘Struggle’ has been the key word for Collins, who revealed in October last year that she was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. But since receiving treatment, she said in Brisbane that she felt the best she had felt in more than a year. 
It showed – she thumped Elina Svitolina and Yulia Putintseva in the Queensland capital for the collective loss of just three games.
She has lost just nine games en route to the Adelaide quarterfinals.
"I just always have a really great time playing here. It doesn't really matter the result, honestly -- I just love being here, I love playing in the weather here. I'm just really happy to be here,” said Collins, whose coach, boyfriend and physiotherapist all hail from Australia.
"It's a similar climate to at home in Florida, playing in the humidity and the heat in the middle of the day. And I think the court speed suits my game well.”