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Incredible Comeback Propels Danielle Collins Past Clara Tauson and into the Fourth Round of the Australian Open

Collins staged a remarkable comeback and won a three-set thriller in the third round of the Australian Open

Danielle Collins' hopes for another deep run at the Australian Open are still alive. 

It did not seem like that would be the case after the first set of her third round match, however, as the former Cavalier and two-time NCAA Champion dropped the opening set and it appeared as if she would have her latest run in the Australian Open cut short by Denmark's Clara Tauson, the No. 39-ranked women's singles player in the world. 

Collins started the match off very strongly, holding serve, then breaking Tauson and then holding serve again to take a commanding 3-0 lead out of the gate. Tauson avoided an 0-4 hole by winning the next game, but Collins held serve again to go up 4-1. 

Then, Collins started to unravel. 

Tauson held serve and then won a hard-fought eight-point game to break Collins. Tauson won the next game on serve to tie the set at 4-4 and then Collins double faulted twice on her way to losing another game. Tauson held serve to clinch the 6-4 victory in the first set after winning five-straight games, a remarkable feat for the underdog over the No. 27 seed Collins. 

Collins finally ended that losing streak with a win on serve to start the second set without losing a point. For all the struggles of the first set, Collins was still in position to reclaim control of the match. 

Clara Tauson had other plans. 

Tauson won the next three games, breaking Collins' serve for the third time in the match, and took a 3-1 lead in what could have been the final set of the match. 

Collins regained her footing in the fifth game, holding serve without dropping a point, but Tauson responded with a perfect service game of her own to make it 4-2, bringing the Dane to within two games of pulling the upset over Collins. 

Collins held serve and then, after dropping the first point of the next game, won four straight points to pick up a crucial break and tie the set at 4-4. 

Much like the entire match, the ninth game of the second set was a marathon. Collins and Tauson went back-and-forth, going to deuce three times, two of which ended with a point for Tauson to give her two break point opportunities. If Tauson had been able to break Collins again, she would have been serving for the match in the next game. 

Instead, Collins fought off both break points and eventually closed the game out with an ace. Sensing some exhaustion in her opponent, Collins seized the opportunity and broke Tauson's serve to clinch the second set 6-4 and even the match at one set apiece. 

The third set was a fitting conclusion to a riveting tennis match. 

Collins and Tauson held serve through the first ten games, but it was not without difficulty, as many of the games went to deuce several times before being won by the server. 

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With the deciding set tied at 5-5, Collins double faulted to start her service game, but rallied to win the next four points to make it 6-5. 

At that point, Tauson was essentially running on fumes. After two unforced errors by Tauson, Collins finished the match back-to-back backhanded winners. 

After two hours and thirty-five minutes of intense tennis, Collins emerged victorious with the 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 win. 

With the victory, Collins advances to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the second time in her career. In 2019, Collins burst onto the scene with an incredible five-match winning streak, which included a major upset victory over No. 2 seed Angelique Kerber in the fourth round, and ended up advancing all the way to the semifinals. 

In the fourth round of this year's Australian Open, Collins is set to face Belgium's Elise Mertens, the No. 19 seed in the Australian Open and the No. 26 ranked women's singles player in the world. 

Collins and Mertens will meet on Sunday (time TBD) with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line. 

Danielle Collins is also competing in the women's doubles tournament and she is partnered with fellow American Desirae Krawczyk. After a long single's match against Tauson, Collins had to turn around and play her next double's match in the same day. 

In the second round, Collins and Krawczyk faced another American pairing, Jessica Pegula and Asia Muhammed, the No. 13 seeds in the women's doubles bracket. Collins and Krawczyk defeated Pegula and Muhammed in straight sets 6-3, 7-6. 

In the third round, Collins and Krawczyk are set to face the Czech duo of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, the No. 1 seeds in the women's doubles tournament, on Sunday (time TBD). 

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