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By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, July 21, 2020

 
Danielle Collins

"We have dismissed Danielle Collins for the remainder of the 2020 World TeamTennis season after breaking our COVID-19 protocols," WTT CEO Carlos Silva said.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Danielle Collins broke World TeamTennis' safety bubble. Now, she's been bounced by the league.

Collins' second season for the Orlando Storm was cut short Monday as WTT CEO Carlos Silva announced she's been dismissed for leaving the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virgina in violation of the league's COVID-19 safety protocol.

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“We have dismissed Danielle Collins (Orlando Storm) for the remainder of the 2020 World TeamTennis season after breaking our COVID-19 protocols and leaving The Greenbrier Resort and the state of West Virginia," Silva said in a statement issued Monday night.

"The protocols have been put in place and communicated numerous times to protect the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff which are of utmost importance to WTT.”

World TeamTennis rules prohibit players, coaches and staff from leaving the Greenbrier, which is hosting the entire 2020 WTT season.

Tennis Express

The 26-year-old St. Petersburg native has not yet commented on social media. She deleted her Instagram has well.

Tennys Sandgren, a teammate of Collins on the Storm, said he was surprised that she didn't show up on Tuesday.

“She didn’t tell anybody she was going anywhere,” he told Nina Pantic of Tennis.com. “We were having a blood test yesterday. In the group chat it’s 3 p.m. and we’re leaving at 3:30 p.m. and she’s like ‘I’m in Charlottesville [Virginia].'”

Jay Gooding, the coach of the Storm, and also Collins' personal coach, says she most likely left to pick up health-related supplements.

“I think it was for nutritional purposes to get some food and supplements,” Gooding told Tennis.com. “We’ve exchanged text messages. I’ve reached out to her. I’m sure she is quite upset understandably.”

Jessica Pegula started in women's singles for the Orlando Storm in Tuesday morning's match vs. the Washington Kastles. 

Among the safety protocol WTT has implemented for the 2020 season:

 

  • Players, staff and guests have their temperatures checked upon arrival at the Greenbrier. Anyone whose temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees will not be permitted on the grounds.
  • Fans do not need to be a Greenbrier guest to buy a WTT ticket, but fans will be tested both on entry to the resort and again before entering the stadium.
  • All players and staff will be subject to daily temperature tests before being permitted inside the stadium. Anyone—players, staff or fans—whose temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees will be denied entry to the stadium.


The 2019 Australian Open semifinalist started this season off scoring three Top 15 wins on the WTA Tour defeating Elina Svitolina in Brisbane before sweeping eventual Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and Belinda Bencic back-to-back in Adelaide.

An outspoken presence and feisty competitor, Collins called out some players for their aversion to proposed US Open safety protocols last months. Her comments came after world No. 1 Novak Djokovic criticized USTA measures as "extreme" and "impossible." 

In an Instagram post, Collins suggested the multi-millionaire ATP Player Council President was out of touch with the economic challenges the rank-and-file players face to survive during the sport's shutdown.

“No one has been able to play sanctioned events or make money since February,” Collins wrote on Instagram last month. “Here we have an awesome opportunity with the US Open talking about proceeding with the event. …

"It’s easy when someone’s made $150 million throughout their career, to try to tell people what to do with their money, and then turn down playing in the US Open. For those of us who don’t travel with an entourage, we actually need to start working again. It would be nice to have the best player in the world supporting this opportunity and not spoiling it for players and fans!”

 

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