Americans Danielle Collins & Sofia Kenin to Face Off in French Open Quarterfinals
Danielle Collins, 26, and Sofia Kenin, 21, will play on Wednesday, guaranteeing a spot for the U.S.A. in the semifinals
One upcoming French Open quarterfinal is shaping up to be an all-American showdown.
On Tuesday, Danielle Collins beat Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in three sets to secure a spot in the tournament's quarterfinals (the match had been postponed from Monday due to rain). The 26-year-old athlete, ranked 57th, will now face off against fellow American Sofia Kenin, ranked 6th, on Wednesday, meaning the U.S.A. is guaranteed a representative in the semifinals.
According to NBC Sports, this is the fifth time in the last six years that an American woman will advance to the semifinals of the French Open, which is being held at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris.
Collins attributed her French Open success to her coach Nicolás Almagro, whom she hired a week ago.
"Yeah, Nico and I started working with each other last week, so it’s all-new," she said in her post-game interview. "I didn’t have a coach at the U.S. Open so I tried to find somebody right away, and luckily I found somebody with an incredible career, somebody that was a top-10 player. So it is a really special treat for me to be able to work with him."
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Kenin, 21, recently told ESPN that she is bracing for worthy opponents as the tournament progresses. Kenin — who bested France's Fiona Ferro to make it to the quarterfinals — won the Australian Open back in February, becoming the tournament's youngest singles winner since Maria Sharapova's victory back in 2008.
"I really hope I can keep playing the way I'm playing or better. I'm deep in the tournament," said Kenin. "I feel like I have to step up my game because obviously I'm going to play tough opponents. We're all playing well. It's going to be a tough match. But, yeah, I guess fingers crossed for the next round."
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Kenin spoke to PEOPLE after her Australian Open victory in February, describing the triumph as a "dream come true."
“I felt that I’m one step closer to achieving what I’ve always wanted, and it was to be a Grand Slam champion,” she said at the time. “During the match there were nerves for sure but I just kept telling myself to keep fighting, don’t give up, keep believing, leave your heart out.”
After the trophy ceremony, Kenin told the excited crowd at Rod Laver Arena: “I’m on cloud nine right now, I just can’t believe this.” That moment, she told PEOPLE, was “just surreal.”
“It’s a dream come true for me! I’ve worked so hard and have been through some tough times and this made me work even harder to achieve my dream,” she said. “I feel like I’m living my dream and this means everything to me!”
“I can’t wait to be back competing there and representing my country,” Kenin said at the time of future matches.