Jelena Ostapenko vs Danielle Collins WTA Miami tennis preview, predictions and tips: Ostapenko and Collins face off for a place in first Premier Mandatory final

Andrew Hendrie in WTA 29 Mar 2018
  • Jelena Ostapenko vs Danielle Collins is live from Miami not before 9.00pm local time on Thursday (2.00am BST, Friday)
  • First meeting between the pair
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Miami at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Jelena Ostapenko (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and on-fire American qualifier Danielle Collins battle it out for a spot in the WTA Miami Open final on Thursday night in Key Biscayne.

Watch and bet on Ostapenko vs Collins live from Miami at Unibet > live streaming > tennis. Their semi-final clash begins not before 9.00pm local time on Thursday (2.00am BST, Friday).

Both Jelena Ostapenko and Danielle Collins will be aiming to reach a first Premier Mandatory final on Thursday night when the pair clash in the Miami Opens semi-finals. Ostapenko is of course the more established and experienced player despite being a few years younger than Collins, famously winning the French Open last year and surging into the top 10 as a result. Collins meanwhile had never won a WTA main draw match before this month - and now she’s one win away from a Premier Mandatory final. Quite incredible. Ostapenko and Collins take to court not before 9.00pm local time on Thursday (2.00am BST, Friday).

Arriving in Miami with just four wins under her belt this season, Ostapenko had a point to prove - and boy is she proving said point! The Latvian has already matched her total wins for the season in Miami this week, advancing into her second WTA Premier Mandatory semi-final without dropping a set in great victories over Timea Babos (6-4 6-4), Beatriz Haddad Maia (6-2 7-6(2)), Petra Kvitova (7-6(4) 6-3) and Elina Svitolina (7-6(3) 7-6(5)).

Of course the two stand-out results from above are the top 10 scalps over Kvitova and Svitolina - her first wins of the season over her fellow top 10 rivals. Ostapenko was brilliant against Kvitova in tricky windy conditions and also multiple rain delays, while her fearless and explosive brand of tennis was at it’s absolute best against Svitolina in Wednesday’s quarter-finals, with the 20-year-old firing 44 winners to 42 unforced errors as she edged the fourth seed in two tiebreaks.

"Before the match I knew that I have to be very aggressive," Ostapenko said after the match. "And when I had a chance, I was going for it. Of course I was missing some because I was trying to play aggressive the whole match, but I think my winners are more than the unforced errors."

Ostapenko, who has linked up with Australian coach David Taylor this season, did a very good job of backing up her sensational French Open triumph (where she came back from a set and 0-3 down to beat Simona Halep in the final), making the Wimbledon quarter-finals (defeating Svitolina) before enjoying a fruitful end to 2017 in Asia, capturing her second career title in Seoul and reaching back-to-back semi-finals of the Premier 5 Wuhan Open and Premier Mandatory China Open in Beijing. Those results helped her qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore, where she claimed a win over Karolina Pliskova but also lost to Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza to bow out in the group stage.


As mentioned, it had been a tough start to 2018 for Ostapenko, winning back-to-back matches just once before Miami (third round of the Australian Open), but the Latvian is certainly back to her best as she looks to reach a first Premier Mandatory final in Key Biscayne.

Danielle Collins (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, in terms of shock runs in big tournaments in 2018, it’ll be hard to beat what Danielle Collins has already accomplished this week in Miami. Before this month, Collins had never won a WTA main draw match. But now, after receiving a wildcard into the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells a couple of weeks ago and conquering Madison Keys on her way to the Round of 16, Collins has taken her game to new heights at the Miami Open, firstly qualifying for the main draw before notching up wins over Irina-Camelia Begu, CoCo Vandeweghe, Donna Vekic, Monica Puig and of course the big one, eighth seed Venus Williams.

Collins was simply immense as she registered the first top 10 victory of her career, emphatically sweeping aside the three-time Miami champion 6-2 6-3 to secure her spot in her first ever WTA semi-final - at Premier Mandatory level no less. Collins wasn’t intimidated in the slightest as she used her aggressive baseline game - especially off the backland wing - to dominant exchanges from the back of the court, while her depth of shot off the return was also very impressive.

The 24-year-old is now a sensational 19-3 at all levels in 2018 after also winning the biggest title of her career at the WTA 125K Newport Beach event in January, while she also made the quarter-finals of the WTA 125K in Indian Wells to earn her wildcard into the BNP Paribas Open. A two-time NCAA champion, Collins played collegiate tennis for the University of Virginia (she actually transferred from the University of Florida due to lack of match time), graduating in 2016 with a degree in Media Studies and turning professional soon after, working her way up the rankings in 2017 on the ITF Circuit. Starting the season outside the top 100, Collins will rise to at least No. 53 courtesy of her run in Miami - and she will break into the top 35 if she can beat Ostapenko on Thursday night.

Unsurprisingly, this will be the first main tour meeting between the pair, and it promises to be a fascinating contest. Obviously when Ostapenko makes it to this stage of a tournament, her explosive game is firing on all cylinders, and if she manages to clock over 40 winners in a match (and hit less unforced errors) like she did in her win over Svitolina, it’s going to be tough for anyone to beat her. Collins has been remarkably composed all week and shouldn’t be overawed by the occasion, but Ostapenko won’t give her much rhythm and she probably won’t miss as many easy balls as Venus did in the quarter-finals. Collins has been mighty impressive, but with Ostapenko in the zone, there’s not many players that can take her down. I’m backing the Latvian to make a first Premier Mandatory final.



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Jelena Ostapenko vs Danielle Collins WTA Miami tennis preview, predictions and tips: Ostapenko and Collins face off for a place in first Premier Mandatory final

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and on-fire American qualifier Danielle Collins battle it out for a spot in the WTA Miami Open final on Thursday night in Key Biscayne.

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