Danielle Collins gets emotional at prize money and praises security in classy Miami speech | Tennis | Sport

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Danielle Collins showed her class as she was crowned the champion of the Miami Open. The 30-year-old is set to retire at the end of the season but she managed to complete a fairytale run in her home state, lifting the biggest title of her career. And she became emotional as she reflected on the tournament staff and the prize money on offer in Miami.

Playing in the Miami Open for the final time in her career, Collins defeated Rybakina 7-5 6-3 to claim the title. She became the lowest-ranked woman to lift the trophy and made the most of her crowning moment, using her victory speech to pay tribute to everyone involved in the tournament and the WTA.

Addressing tournament director James Blake – a former ATP world No. 4 – the 30-year-old said: “James, it’s so crazy having grown up watching you and now being out here playing in your tournament. And the way that you’ve run this tournament and the people that you have involved behind the scenes. This is the type of tournaments that we want to have, this is the type of places and environments that we want to be in and the facilities too.”

And Collins showed her true colours as she made sure to thank those in the smaller, lesser-known rules – including the security and the WTA physios. “The volunteers, everyone from the locker room attendants to the ball kids to drivers to player support staff and everybody at the WTA, working for the WTA and uplifting our game and making this a positive work environment, thank you so much,” she continued.

“Two of my favourite people on tour, the physiotherapists. Keeping us healthy and obviously I’ve had a lot of health challenges and it’s been a really long journey for me. And I know every week when I come to the tournaments, the WTA physios would have our back.

“They would literally do anything for us, they have their phones on in the middle of the night if something comes up and they’re the first people that get here in the morning and the last people that leave. Thank you for everything that you do, you guys don’t get enough credit. Thank you to all of the security staff too, this week this is the safest I’ve felt in an event and we don’t talk about that stuff a lot but it means a lot.”

Playing in her home tournament, Collins also revealed that she had to stop herself from getting emotional in the middle of the match. She added: “To come out here and feel like I’m playing in front of thousands of my best friends and everybody that was pushing me to get over this hurdle today, it just meant the world. I was getting very emotional and I had to keep telling myself, ‘Leave those emotions in the locker room and wait until after the match.’ It was just an incredible environment, I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

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