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Qualifier Danielle Collins overpowered her childhood idol Venus Williams 6-2 6-3 in a stunning quarter-final upset at the Miami Open on Wednesday.

Former US open champion, Sloane Stephens, displayed some bold tennis, to overcome another former grand slam champion, in the form of Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

"The first time I saw Venus in the locker room I almost cried", Collins said in an on-court interview. "I mean, they have no idea". Unusually for a professional tennis player, Collins attended college at the University of Virginia before beginning her career. "She's been my favourite player for forever and this is just a special moment I'm trying to wrap my head around it".

Four double faults in the second brought Stephens back into contention as Azarenka lost three consecutive service games.

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"After the match, Williams was full of praise for her young opponent and said "[Collins] played very well, aggressively. I didn't come from a super-wealthy family, and I wasn't at the country club every day playing in the little tennis camps with the other little kids.

It also will buffet her ranking against the potential carnage of an early loss at Roland Garros, when she returns to defend her title.

Ostapenko has now won both of her meetings against Svitolina, included a victory over the 23-year-old at Wimbledon last year.

And now Collins, who took the more-unusual path through college to pro life, still has a shot at becoming perhaps Miami's most surprising champion.

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"You don't have to do it the traditional way", Williams said.

Collins will play French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko for a chance to make the final.

The argentine will now face John Isner in the semifinal to scale through Isner cruised past South Korea's Hyeon Chung 6-1, 6-4.

The 14th seed had 13 aces, won all but one of his 32 first-serve points and avenged a loss to 19th-seeded Chung in his first match of the year in Auckland in January. "In the first set I was down but I battled back so I knew if I did that in the second, I'd be right in there", the 25-year-old American said. And then going into this season, I knew that I didn't have the greatest off-season, so for me, the two matches that I lost the first part of the year in Australia, not a big deal.

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"I was fine until the end", Ostapenko said.


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