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Collins Falls at US Open in Three Sets to #2 Player in World

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Virginia women's tennis star Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) extended No. 2-seed Simona Halep to three sets, but lost 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-2 in the opening round of the main draw at the 2014 US Open.

Collins, making her US Open debut after earning the wild card for her NCAA singles championship, claimed the first set against the second-ranked player in the WTA rankings. Collins rallied from a 3-1 to tie the score at 4-4 before winning 7-6 with a decisive 7-2 count in the tiebreaker.

Halep, who advanced to the semifinals of Wimbledon and was the runner-up to Maria Sharapova at the French Open this season, rebounded by taking the next two sets 6-1, 6-2 to claim the victory.

“I obviously had a really good experience taking a set off the No. 2-ranked girl in the world,” Collins said. “I think there is a lot of positive things to take from it. I don't think a lot of people were expecting me to take a set off her, so overall, an incredible experience. I mean, that's something I'll never forget.”

When asked about expectations entering the match on one of tennis' biggest stages, Collins said “I kind of threw all of that out the door and took the pressure off myself, and just really focused on the things I could do and the things I could control.”

Collins earned the wild card into the main draw by winning the 2014 NCAA singles championship, becoming the first woman in the program's history to win an NCAA crown. Collins earned ITA All-America recognition and her 37 singles wins in 2013-14 rank second all-time at UVa for a single-season.

Collins also helped Virginia to its first Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships and first NCAA quarterfinal appearance in school history. The All-ACC first-team performer earned Most Valuable Player honors at the ACC Championship by going 2-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles.

Collins spoke after about her experience playing in the U.S. Open.

"...an incredible experience. I've never played at that level or in a stadium like that with that many people. I don't think a lot of people expected me to take a set of the number two player in the world and so its something I can definitely use in the future as a huge confidence booster."

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