Danielle Collins advanced into her first semifinal in 2023 after defeating Anna Kalinskaya 3-6 6-2 6-1 in the quarterfinal match of ATX Open. The American who showed signs of coming back to good form in her previous match won dominantly against Caty Mcnally, was a favorite before the exciting matchup against the Russian. The players met in first round of Australian Open in January, delivering a great tennis spectacle in almost 3-hours long three-setter won by Collins.
This time three sets were also needed to emerge the winner, but the match has another kind of dynamic, with the switches of momentum when one player were dominant over the opponent who struggled with her game. Match started as expected with Collins putting the pressure, trying to hit winners and attack her opponent's serve aggresively. "Danimal" moved into 3-1 after first break of the match and was seemingly starting to take control over the match. Then, something broke down in the game of American, as she started to make multiple unforced errors and lost the confidence on her serve. Kalinskaya broke back in 5th game, but Collins was close to regain control with 3 breakpoints in another game. The Russian managed to make a big hold here and broke Collins twice since then, clinching the opening set with a score 6-3 by winning 5 games in a row.
Start of the second set foreshadowed the continue of struggles for Collins, as she faced a breakpoint in second game, which could move Kalinskaya into a set and break up lead. The American held there and it occured to be a key moment of this match. Collins regained the wind in her sails, starting to make her usual business with agressive and clinical strikes and overpowering her opponent. Danimal won 9 games in a row, taking second set on the road and moving into double-break lead in the decider, much to the delight of the crowded audience in Texas who were cheered bravely for the tournament's biggest star. Collins took away all the hope from Kalinskaya and advanced into the final after another statement win.
Danielle was thankful for the crowd for all the support and admitted the importance of the presence of all the friends, while playing on the home soil for the first time this season. The good feeling translates into a great on-court performance for Collins, who has the abilities to beat anyone, when she is on. The good run in Austin can be a new kick-start of the season for the American, who will be one of the most dangerous players during the upcoming Sunshine Double swing.
Marta Kostyuk will try to take up the glove against the tournament's favorite in Saturday's semifinal clash. The Ukrainian defeated Anna Lena Friedsam in straight sets 7-6(6) 6-2. First set of this match was an extraordinary battle, as the pre-match favorite moved into the break lead twice, but German managed to push it into tiebreak. Decisive game was an intense battle, ended up with 8-6 score for Kostyuk, who clinched the set after 71 minutes of play. Second set did not bring any surprise, as Kostyuk routined her lower-ranked opponent with double break advantage. The Ukrainian, same as Collins, made it into her first semifinal of the year.
Katie Volynets advanced into her maiden career's semifinal on WTA level after defeating Peyton Stearns in the all-American quarterfinal clash. Volynets won in straight sets, but it was a big nerves challenge for the world's number 92. Volynets started brilliantly with 4-0 lead, but blew away her advantage, allowing the wild-card receiver Stearns to level the score into 5-5. Volynets regained the advantage in 11th game and claimed the opening set after longer effort than expected after the start. Second set started even better for Volynets, who was leading 5-0 with three breaks in her tally and served for the victory in 6th game. She did not convert her first matchpoint within own serve and got broken, allowing Stearns to win 3 games in a row. Volynets could think about the flashbacks from her previous match, when she came back from being 0-5 down in deciding set against Anastasia Potapova. The American could be scared if her fellowcountry from the opposite side of the net will not make her feeling the same blow, but she stopped the counter-attack from Stearns by breaking her serve in 9th game and winning the match 7-5 6-3.
Varvara Gracheva completes the semifinals line-up after upsetting tournament's seed #5 Sloane Stephens in straight sets. 7-6(4) 6-3. The 22 years-old took the opening set in tiebreak after long 70 minutes battle. Second one was more one-sided, as the Gracheva dominated from the start and delivered her second career's semifinal despite getting broken in 7th game while serving for the match.