Don't miss any stories Follow Tennis View

Swiatek Survives Collins To Reach Australian Open Third Round

Jan 19th 2024

Swiatek survives Collins 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to reach Australian Open third round

Iga Swiatek world #1, is a 4-time grand slam champion but is still in search of her first title down under. The twenty-two-year-old from Poland has yet to reach a final having lost in the 4th round last year to eventual finalist, Elena Rybakina. While she led Danielle Collins 4-1 in the head-to-head, her only loss was significant; the 2022 Australian Open semifinal.

Collins lost the final in straights to Ash Barty but on the heels of that performance, reached a career high of #7 later that season. Having lost in the third round at the Aussie Open in 2023 to Rybakina, her ranking dropped precipitously to #40 and is currently #62.

Collins won the toss and elected to serve. Despite two consecutive winners, she faced break point following two consecutive backhand errors yet held. Swiatek opened with a forehand error and faced two deuce and two break points but held to level.

Collins missed four consecutive first serves yet held at love for 2-1 while Swiatek gifted three unforced errors including a double fault and dumped serve when Collins passed her with a backhand crosscourt.

Collins never short on adrenaline, donated four consecutive unforced errors and gave back the break. The world #1 opened the sixth with two consecutive winners and with a fantastic forehand down the line, consolidated the break for 4-2.


Collins returned the favor with a scintillating forehand down the line but after the following point, play was suspended due to rain. The roof on Rod Laver Arena was closed and play resumed after twenty-four minutes. Although she faced deuce, she struck two additional winners and held for 4-3 while Swiatek made 3/5 first serves and held easily to 15 to level.

Collins led 40-15 but three backhand errors proved costly as she dropped serve following a backhand swing volley winner from Swiatek. The #1 seed crushed another forehand down the line and secured the set 6-4 when Collins netted a makeable backhand.

Collins served first in the second and dropped serve following two unforced errors and a blistering backhand down-the-line pass from her opponent. Swiatek returned the favor with two unforced errors and gave back the break when Collins pummeled a backhand return.

Collins opened the third with a double fault and faced deuce and break point but with her first ace, an inside-out forehand winner, and a huge serve out wide,and held for 2-1. Swiatek missed 3/6 first serves and dumped serve following a netted forehand and a spectacular crosscourt backhand from her opponent.

Collins maintained her aggressive court position and with two consecutive backhand winners, consolidated the break for 4-1. Swiatek appeared unsettled and soon faced triple break point and dropped serve as Collins continued to tee off on the return.

The former world #7 served for the set up 5-1. She reached double set point following three consecutive errors from Swiatek, but she began to unravel. She faced five deuce points and three

break points and dumped serve after four double faults!

Swiatek was handed a lifeline, but she almost dropped it. She missed 5/14 first serves including another double fault and faced four deuce and set point but held with four fabulous forehand winners. Collins once again served for the set and this time it took just four points as she clinched it 6-3 following four unforced errors from her opponent.

The crowd was fully engaged and elated for it was going the distance. Swiatek served first in the decider and though she gifted another double fault, held to 30. Collins faced deuce in her opening service game but leveled at 1-1 with her first ace of the match.

Swiatek opened the third with two consecutive errors and though she struck her first ace, faced double break point, and dropped serve when Collins ripped the backhand return.

Collins continued to struggle on serve as she donated another double fault but survived two deuce and a break point to consolidate the break. Swiatek committed three unforced errors including her fourth double fault and dropped serve when she whiffed a forehand.

Collins up a double break seemed unstoppable as she continually confounded her opponent. Although she made 2/4 first serves, she gave back the break following three consecutive errors including her 7th double fault.

Swiatek saw the opportunity but struggled to seize it. She faced triple break point but miraculously held for 3-4 with two backhand winners and two unreturnable serves. Collins made 5/6 first serves but it failed to serve her as she lost the game with a netted forehand.

Swiatek level at 4-4, consolidated the break at love to take the lead. Collins serving to stay in the match opened with an extraordinary backhand down the line but faced double match point following two consecutive forehand errors.

She managed to save both and reach game point with an inside-out forehand winner but faced a third match point after whiffing a backhand off a deep return. After 3 ¼ hours, Swiatek would not be denied as she sealed victory with a tremendous backhand down the line on the full stretch.

It was an enthralling, high-octane, and exceedingly competitive match in which both oscillated between offense and defense. Swiatek managed to maintain her focus throughout, but her serve was a liability. She won 64% of first but only 30% of second serve points. She faced 15 break points, saving nine, and hit the same number of winners as errors (35).

She will need to up the ante to make the second week. Next up, Linda Noskova from the Czech Republic. The nineteen-year-old announced her presence last season with two top-ten wins (Daria Kasatkina & Ons Jabeur) and reached a career-high ranking of #40 last October. She is currently ranked #50 and on debut at the Australian Open, dispatched the #31 seed and compatriot Marie Bouzkova.

Swiatek won their only previous match last summer in the quarters at the Poland Open on outdoor hardcourt 6-1, 6-4.