"I just had to be really patient" - Collins reflects on victory over Halep in Rome
The 2022 Australian Open runner-up required two hours to record a 7-6(1) 6-3 victory, improving to 2-1 in career meetings against the former World No.1. This marks Collins's first trip to the Rome Round of 16 after two previous second-round losses.
"Simona is someone that I've looked up to for a long time, somebody that I really admire as a competitor, as an athlete," Collins said after her win. "I felt like today kind of worked in my favor because I know her game so well from watching a lot.
"I had to come out and play really aggressive and be consistent at the same time, because she's relentless, she gets everything back. I just had to be really patient. There were times I was a little up and down with my serving, so I kind of made some adjustments, and just tried to be not too hard on myself."
Awaiting Collins in the next round is compatriot Amanda Anisimova, who upset 12th seed Belinda Bencic earlier in the day. This will be the first career meeting between both Americans, with Collins acknowledging the similarities in their games.
"Anisimova is a really aggressive player, I feel like we have some similarities in our games," Collins said. "It will be interesting playing each other for the first time."