Home Tennis Jasmine Paolini 1st Italian woman to reach Wimbledon semis

Jasmine Paolini 1st Italian woman to reach Wimbledon semis


LONDON, July 9 — Seventh seed Jasmine Paolini blazed past American Emma Navarro 6-2, 6-1 on Tuesday, becoming the first Italian woman to make the Wimbledon semifinals where she faces experienced Croatian Donna Vekic.

The 28-year-old’s victory ensured she eclipsed compatriots Camila Giorgi (2018), Francesca Schiavone (2009), Silvia Farina Elia (2003) and Laura Golarsa (1989), who had all reached the quarter-finals at the grasscourt Grand Slam in the Open era.

Navarro drew first blood in the third game with a forehand rocket but Paolini responded immediately and the French Open runner-up then ramped up the pressure after some heavy exchanges from the baseline to pull away for a 5-2 lead in the opening set.

The diminutive Italian mixed things up against her American opponent to comfortably win her fifth straight game and take the first set in double quick time on Centre Court.

Navarro, who had never lost in three previous meetings with Paolini, gave herself a fighting chance with two break points in the third game of the next set but the 19th seed was unable to convert either.

The 23-year-old’s hopes of reaching a first Grand Slam semifinal faded further as Paolini took a 5-1 lead, having staved off another comeback attempt.

Paolini wobbled slightly as she looked to land the knockout blow on serve but a wayward shot from Navarro sent her through.

Paolini’s next text will come against the 28-year-old Vekic, who beat qualifier Lulu Sun 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, earlier Tuesday.

For Vekic, the semifinal berth is a breakthrough as it is the first time in 43 Grand Slam events that she has advanced past the quarterfinals.

“I didn’t have any energy, any motivation to keep practicing, keep pushing, because I felt like the last couple months I’ve given everything for tennis, and I wasn’t getting the results that I kind of expected,” said Vekic, who considered quitting tennis as recently as May.

“Now I’m the semifinals,” Vekic said. “Not just in tennis, (but) in life, things can turn pretty fast.”

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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