Danielle Collins fights back to reach first-ever Grand Slam semi-final

The back story to Maria Sharapova's struggle in return to tennis from doping ban

American Danielle Collins continued her remarkable Grand Slam breakthrough by defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to reach her first semi-final at the Australian Open.

When Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam champ, became increasingly vocal after taking a point from Collins on an unforced error in the second set, Collins made it clear she would not be intimidated, yelling, "Come on!" after hitting a drop-shot victor and slowing Kerber's momentum.

In a topsy-turvy battle between two unseeded players, Collins - who was winless at grand slams prior to the tournament - won 2-6 7-5 6-1 at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

"I think it would be tough for me to be doing all the work and putting in all the effort if I didn't really believe that", she said.

"For me, having that 18 months off was vital".

Different player playing against her in Australia than it is, you know, in Rome first round. Her best show with the bat in the WBBL was 39-off 27 balls against Melbourne Stars which though the Heat had lost.

By the age of nine, Ms Barty was training with boys six years older than her, and at 12 years old, she was playing against adult men.

Barty fought back to break twice in the second set and level the match, as more unforced errors crept into her Russian opponent's game, and then broke twice more in the decider to race into a 4-0 lead.

"I know that I can match it with the best". "You know, sitting down with my team late past year, it was one of the goals we set out that we wanted to go deep into slams, and I feel like that was the next step for me". As Sharapova was booed by the crowd on her return, a less mature player than Barty may have been put off. Barty remained unfazed and won the next set.

'Giving back to my community is very important to me and I hope to inspire many more Indigenous kids to get active and enjoy their tennis, ' she said. "I mean, it was completely not my day", Kerber said.

Kvitova beat Barty in a third-set tiebreaker in the final of the Sydney International eight days ago. "I did all I could and I just came up short".

And Belinda Bencic, defeated 6-1 6-4 by Kvitova in the previous round, felt a degree of sympathy with the young American, replying on Instagram: "Welcome to the club #petrasvictims".

"Coming home and giving them a cuddle on the couch is one of the most simple but enjoyable things for me to do, win or lose they love me exactly the same", she adds.

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