Collins, Swiatek round out Aussie women's semis

MELBOURNE, Australia — Danielle Collins joined fellow American Madison Keys in the Australian Open semifinals, while former French Open champion Iga Swiatek improved on her stellar record against players ranked outside the top 30 to reach the last four at Melbourne Park for the first time.

Swiatek outlasted Kaia Kanepi 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 to set up a semifinal meeting Thursday night against Collins, who swung Wednesday’s quarterfinal match in her favor with a key service break in the final game of the opening set on her way to a 7-5, 6-1 quarterfinal win over Alize Cornet.

The 36-year-old Kanepi is ranked 115th but was playing in her seventh Grand Slam quarterfinal and was coming off an upset win over No. 2-ranked Aryna Sabalenka. Swiatek has 30 wins in 32 matches against those ranked outside the top 30 in majors and also improved her record to having reached the fourth round at her past six Grand Slam tournaments.

Collins, 28, equaled her best previous performance at Melbourne Park — she also advanced to the semifinals in 2019, her previous best Grand Slam tournament result.

Collins underwent surgery last year to treat endometriosis, with the condition leaving her in severe pain during tournaments in 2021.

“It feels incredible, especially after some of the health challenges I’ve had,” Collins said in her post-match interview. “To be able to get back to this level and be able to compete like the way I have been and being able to be as physical as I haven’t been so rewarding.”

Keys will play top-ranked Ash Barty in the other semifinal on Thursday.

The loss ended a strong run by Cornet, who played her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in her 63rd main-draw appearance. The French player had an upset victory over two-time major winner Simona Halep in the fourth round. The WTA says that Cornet should return to the top 50 in the rankings due to her performance here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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