Danielle Collins ‘almost started crying’ after terrifying collapse for line judge in Charleston

Kevin Palmer
An emotional Danielle Collins
Danielle Collins (USA) tears up after her tennis match

Danielle Collins continued her winning form after her stunning Miami Open win as she won her first clay court match of 2024 in Charleston, yet the final stages of the match against Paula Badosa were an emotional roller-coaster.

Collins has far too much power for former world No 2 Badosa, who has been struggling to overcome a series of injury problems in the last year.

Spanish star Badosa was unfortunate to be drawn against in-form Collins in the opening round of the WTA 500 event, yet this match took an alarming twist in the closing stages after a line judge collapsed.

There were gasps in the crowd as the line judge named Dana slumped to the floor, with TV networks panning away from the scene of what appeared to be a serious incident.

Both players returned to their chairs as the stricken official was treated by medical staff, with a lengthy delay in the match essential before play could resume.

Badosa held the service game that had been interrupted, but it merely delayed the inevitable outcome of the match as Collins won her next service game to seal a 6-1 6-4 win.

American star Collins only had a muted celebration as her first priority when the match ended was checking on the condition of the line judge and she was quickly assured he would be okay.

“With everything that happened on the court, oh my gosh my heart broke in half,” said Collins.

“I almost started crying, so to try and reset and come back and close out that match against a tough competitor was not easy.

“Most importantly, it looks like he is going to be okay, so that’s the main thing.”

READ MORE: Danielle Collins reveals if she will reconsider retirement plans after Miami title run

Collins made a huge leap up the WTA rankings after her first WTA 1000 win in Miami and she had not had much time to come down from that high and adapt to playing on clay courts for the first time this year.

“On Sunday, I did the five-mile drive back to my home town and got to sleep in my own bed for one night,” she added.

“Then I flew here yesterday, I had one hit on the clay at home, so I’m just trying to get the clay under my feet now.

“You have to be versatile and flexible on this surface and I will try and get better with each match.”

Collins will now look to continue her winning run in what looks set to be a blockbuster second round match against Ons Jabeur and it seems these two competitors are also good friends.

“Ons and I have had some great memories on and off the court,” added Collins.

“I took in the New Year with her and her husband last year and that was pretty fun.

“We all know Ons has a massive fan base, so she will have a lot of support out here and it should be a great match.

“Coming out here and having such great support for the athletes is one of the reasons why this is all our of favourite events.

“We always look forward to coming to Charleston and this event is doing great things for women’s tennis.”

Collins is now closing in on a return to the top 20 of the WTA Rankings, with two more wins in this week’s tournament likely to secure her return to the elite list in the women’s game.