Arm chair quarterbacks usually rise from their chairs on Monday morning after being glued to their cushions on Sunday, especially during the National Football League season.

Their schedule in Women’s Professional Tennis is a little more flexible since WTA matches can be played virtually any day of the week and post-match pontification can occur Tuesday and thereafter.

Stars on the rise can be the sure fire focus of the day after QB and a beautiful American girl on the tennis circuit who is garnering attention and sparking conversations is Danielle Collins.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, Kevork Djansezian Getty Images via Sports Illustrated

If there is ever a professional female tennis player whose game is open to discussion, misunderstandings and voluminous interpretations, it’s Danielle’s.

Danielle Rose Collins played collegiate tennis at the University of Virginia and won the NCAA singles title twice, 2014 and 2016, during her sophomore and senior years. She graduated in 2016 as the top ranked collegiate player in the country with a degree in media studies.

Is a career sitting in the booth analyzing with Johnny Mac in her future?

Hopefully.

It is the in between that is intriguing and uncertain.

As of April 9, 2018, Danielle’s ranking was 45, which was her highest ever.

On June 11, 2018 it now proudly stands at 39.

Ms. Collins made her WTA Tour main draw debut as a wildcard at the 2014 US Open in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, where she forced second seed Simona Halep to a third-setter in the first round. Watching an American player compete at the US Open always seems to bring out the extra electricity in an already passionate crowd.

In 2016 and 2017, she won a total of three ITF singles titles.

That is impressive but when you have been the NCAA champion twice, an incredible feat in itself, once you get to the pro level obviously the expectations are high and climbing higher than Danielle’s rankings could keep up with.

Danielle’s plight is very revealing in terms of how incredibly difficult it is to make your mark on the women’s tour in a world of growing big shot power brokers.

Fortunately in 2018, Danielle appears to finally be making her move.

She started the year with a spirited run to the third of the qualifying rounds at the Australian Open, being out gunned by Denisa Allertová, who ultimately reached the fourth round, 6-0, 6-1 in just 45 minutes there.

The good news is that she continued to ride on her momentum and took advantage of her wildcard at the WTA 125K tournament at Newport Beach, upsetting the odds and stormed to claim the title which then saw her rise to a career-high ranking of 120.

The expectations are starting to elevate.

More impressive play occurred at another WTA 125k tournament, this time in Indian Wells, which saw her reach the quarterfinals and thus earn her a wildcard at the BNP Paribas Open, a Premier Mandatory tournament that also takes place in Indian Wells.

There, she had her first major breakthrough by winning her first-ever WTA match against compatriot Taylor Townsend before stunning world number 14 Madison Keys in straight sets.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “Collins, a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Virginia, was down 6-5 in the second set but broke Keys’ serve to tie the set at 6-6 and force the tiebreaker. The only point Keys earned in the tiebreaker came as the result of a short backhander by Collins.”

Madison as you may recall was a 2017 US Open Finalist and Femcompetitor Magazine wrote about her.

American Star Madison Keys, A Girl To Watch All Of The Time

That as you might guess was a huge win for Danielle.

Although her run ended in the fourth-round, Danielle made her long-awaited Top 100 debut with her impressive form.

Her 2018 story continues to improve.

Getting through the qualifying rounds at the Miami Open, Danielle shocked the then world’s number 37 Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-1 before upsetting two-time Grand Slam semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe in three sets.

Incredible victories over Donna Vekić and Monica Puig followed, before the former two time National Champion earned the biggest victory of her career against idol Venus Williams, who was the eighth-ranked player coming into their encounter.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, photo via UBITENNIS

We viewed the match online and we too were surprised by Danielle’s dominance at the encounter.

Due to this success she became the first qualifier to reach the semifinals at the Miami Open.

She then faced sixth seeded Jelena Ostapenko and lost in straight sets despite having a set point in the first. We watched that match online as well and Danielle didn’t seem like the same player who throttled fellow American Venus.

Having said that, as we who followed tennis for years know, you only look as good as the other person on the other side of the net allows you to look. Jelena, as the announcer said, was firing bullets and from our view it was a testament to how fiercely competitive the women’s game has become.

Danielle would soon rise to a career high ranking of No. 53 in the world after the tournament.

As shared by wtatennis.com on May 28, 2018, “World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki aced her tough first-round test against on-the-rise American Danielle Collins, edging through in straight sets 7-6(2), 6-1  to reach the second round at the French Open.”

Which now brings in the Monday morning quarterbacking.

We wondered how can a two time United States National Champion fly under the radar for so long on the WTA tour.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, photo via YouTube

As we analyzed her play against Jelena certain things stood out to us that may be inaccurate but that’s the fun of second guessing and being a Monday morning signal caller.

Right?

From our view, she has power but needs to develop more upper body strength to help turn up the volume. Her movement is very good but her foot speed could truly improve which we suppose you could say about anyone but against Jelena, that seem to be an issue.

Finally if a player’s arsenal of power and speed is not over whelming then more prowess at the net becomes essential. Danielle doesn’t seem to force the issue at net as much as we think she can.

There you have it.

Still, after watching her play, we are truly excited that she has the potential to go very far and deep on the tour. Part of the reason we say that is when you view her interviews and listen to her speak, she is very mature and has the tone of a grizzled veteran who has seen and experienced much.

She also appears to be a great decision maker and risk taker.

Her college career did not start at the University of Virginia. It began as a Florida Gator. So why did it end?

In an article written by Ms. Nina Pantic at tennis.com, Danielle was quoted as expressing, “I just didn’t have the greatest relationship with the head coach there. I feel like, wherever you go, I think there will be a player that [the] coach prioritizes. I just wasn’t a priority in Florida. It just wasn’t working for me.”

Some would have played it safe and stayed but as hind sight is 20-20, it is clear she made the wise decision to take a risk and leave.

One of the signs that she is making the right moves is that she is starting to get endorsement deals. She deeply appreciates that Oracle believed in her. Below is a very nice interview.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1He7WVlj84w

As far as the Monday morning quarterbacking thing, please remember, it is a sign that the athlete of focus has a career worth analyzing and debating about.

fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) photo credit via US Open

Given how Danielle’s pro career is soaring, more global scrutiny is in store. Tuesday through Friday as well. She should get very used to that.

And you know what?

That’s a very good thing.

~ ~ ~

OPENING PHOTO fciwomenswrestling.com, femcompetitor.com article, photo via Tennis Channel

http://www.wtatennis.com/news/wozniacki-dodges-collins-challenge-roland-garros

http://www.virginiasports.com/sports/w-tennis/mtt/danielle_collins_856532.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Collins

http://www.tennisexplorer.com/player/collins-f1bd8/

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/09/danielle-collins-university-virginia-us-open/61084/

http://www.latimes.com/sports/more/la-sp-paribas-notes-20180310-story.html