Danielle Collins revealed that she felt compelled to defend a spectator’s interest when she took issue with Maria Sakkari’s action of throwing the ball into the stands during their match in Montreal.
In a previous incident this month, Sakkari missed her initial serve and inadvertently launched the ball into the stands in the second set of her second-round match against Collins.
Although the ball did not strike anyone and the chair umpire did not react, Collins chose not to let the matter go unnoticed. This led to a verbal exchange on the court between Collins and Sakkari. Collins could be heard advising Sakkari to refrain from speaking, to which Sakkari retorted by inquiring about Collins’ concerns.
Following the match, Collins faced criticism for her choice of words and her manner of addressing Sakkari on the court. Some individuals were unhappy with how Collins handled the situation, particularly her use of the phrase “shut your mouth.”
Collins shared her perspective with David Kane of tennis.com, stating, “She nearly hit someone, and I was portrayed as the villain for standing up in their defense.”
Collins explained her rationale for confronting Sakkari on the court by referencing her recent efforts to embrace her true self, guided by her coach Jared Jackson. This newfound authenticity gave Collins the courage to voice her concerns to Sakkari.
She elaborated, “A few months back, I wouldn’t have taken that step. I would have been overly concerned about public opinion, judgments, and what others might think of me.”
Collins emphasized the importance of staying true to her values and not fixating on matters beyond her control, an approach she credited to Jackson’s guidance.
She acknowledged the challenges faced by players in dealing with external criticism and distractions, particularly in the context of societal expectations for women. Collins remarked, “There’s an unfortunate societal bias that expects women to conform to certain meek and passive standards.”