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USTA Florida Junior Spotlight: Danielle Collins

July 24, 2009 07:00 AM
By Colette Lewis

Defending a title is never easy, but St. Petersburg's Danielle Collins has done it not once, but twice, at the ATP Gator Bowl Junior Championships in Ponte Vedra. Her recent triumph in the girls 18 division is her fourth in the past five years at the prestigious USTA National level 3 event, where she has yet to drop a set. 

As an 11-year-old in 2005, Collins captured the 12-and-under title as the No. 3 seed, winning every match in straight sets. The following year she came back as the top seed in the 12s, again won the title, and again did it without losing a set. After not competing at the Gator Bowl in 2007, she skipped the 14s and 16s divisions and went straight to the top of the 18s, winning her third Gator Bowl title in 2008, this time unseeded, but still didn't require a third set. 

Collins returned to defend her 18s title in May, assuming the pressure of being seeded No. 1. But in typical fashion, the 15-year-old right-hander marched to the final without dropping a set, where she defeated No. 2 seed Anna Mamalat of Pennsylvania 6-3, 6-4.

Ranked inside Florida's Top 5 in the USTA 18s rankings, and third nationally in her class by The Tennis Recruiting Network, Collins also won a wildcard tournament earlier this year to earn a spot in the main draw of the $50,000 event in Clearwater. She lost in the first round to France's Julie Coin, ranked 77th in the world, who went on to win the tournament.
 

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