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By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Tuesday, July 9, 2024


Jasmine Paolini became the first ever Italian woman semifinalist at Wimbledon with a solid straight sets win over Emma Navarro.
Photo Credit: Robert Prange/Getty Images.

Jasmine Paolini continued her rapid rise in tennis as she earned another career milestone by reaching the Wimbledon Ladies’ Singles semifinals.

The No. 7 seed Paolini became the first Italian woman to reach the Ladies’ semifinals with a comprehensive 6-2 6-1 win over No. 19 seed Emma Navarro of the United States.

Paolini, who next faces unseeded Donna Vekic of Croatia, is now a win away from booking her second consecutive appearance in a major final having done so a month ago at Roland Garros before losing to eventual champion Iga Swiatek.

“It's unbelievable. It's just unbelievable, I mean. It's amazing to get the win in this court in this special court. Yeah. I'm so happy to be in the semifinal. I don't. Know what to say at the moment,” said a beaming Paolini just after the match.

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Paolini used both aggressive baseline play and clever net coverage to completely control the match from start to finish. The one-way scoreline was a surprise to many given that Navarro had beaten Paolini in their last three meetings. Navarro, 23, was also riding a wave of confidence have beaten four-time major champion Naomi Osaka and then later No. 2 seed Coco Gauff both in earlier rounds at Wimbledon.

Yet after both women traded early breaks in the opening set, it was all about Paolini. The 28-year-old Italian used her superior net skills to break later for 4-2 thanks to a pinpoint forehand volley winner. Paolini continued to move forward on the famed Centre Court and soon held for 5-2.

On set point, Paolini cracked a deep shot to Navarro’s forehand that the American could not handle. With that, Paolini secured the set 6-2.

The second set was more of the same as Navarro could not figure out a way to halt Paolini either from the baseline or at net. Often times, Paolini played points well inside the baseline while her opponent chose a more defensive position behind the baseline. Paolini earned another break for 3-1 in the second set .

Paolini again targeted Navarro’s forehand in several rallies that proved decisive as she went ahead 4-1. Soon, Paolini held two match points up 5-1.

Navarro saved the first but on the second, the American sent a return well wide to give Paolini the victory in just under an hour. Paolini hit 19 winners on the day and was an impressive 16 of 17 in net points won.

With the result, Paolini will make her top five WTA rankings debut after Wimbledon. When asked about becoming the first Italian woman to reach the Wimbledon semifinals, Paolini said that the moment was very special.

“Yeah, it's so special. I mean, it's a dream to be here in this position. To be in the semifinal. Yeah, you know, I was watching finals when I was a kid on this court. I don't know. it's strange to be here to get the win and to be in the semi final in Wimbledon. I feel so, so happy.”

Photo Credit: Robert Prange/Getty Images


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