Jasmine Paolini speaking after her semi-final win

Paolini’s 2024 season keeps getting better

News Sport

Italy’s Jasmine Paolini has made history by becoming the third Italian woman in the Open Era to reach the Roland Garros final.

The No. 12 seed achieved this milestone by defeating 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva 6-3, 6-1 in Thursday’s semifinal. Paolini will now face two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek in her first Grand Slam final.

Paolini joins an elite group of Italian women who have advanced to the Roland Garros final, following in the footsteps of Francesca Schiavone (2010, 2011) and Sara Errani (2012). She is also the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final since Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci competed in the 2015 US Open final.

“It’s a great feeling to be in a Grand Slam final,” Paolini said after the match. “It seems something impossible, but it’s true. I’m really happy to be in this position. I never dreamed of being in a Grand Slam final, and now I’m here.

“Of course, I was watching Grand Slam finals. I saw other Italians make it to the finals and even win Grand Slams, but imagining that it could be me was tough. I always wished for it, but now that it’s happening, it feels surreal. I’m really happy and also surprised. That’s the feeling right now.”

Paolini made short work of the 17-year-old Andreeva, powering her way through the match.

Her opponent in the final is a completely different prospect, world no.1 and defending champion, Iga Swiatek. Looking at their head-to-head record, Paolini has her work cut out.

This will be their second tour-level meeting. Swiatek beat Paolini 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the 2022 US Open and went on to win the title. They also played at an ITF 80K in Prague in 2018 when Swiatek was 16. Swiatek won 6-2, 6-1.

That means Swiatek has not lost more than three games to Paolini. The Italian has the right mind-set, saying, “Iga is unbelievable player, as I said. So young, but so many achievement and Grand Slams. Here she won three times. She’s doing well week by week, and that’s not easy.

“So I have huge respect for her, but my goal is to step on court Saturday and try to enjoy the match and to enjoy that moment and to try to play a good match and to make a good performance on court.”

Doubles final with Errani

Jasmine’s work this weekend is not just about the singles. With her doubles partner and mentor Sara Errani, she is also in the women’s doubles.

Following on from their doubles success at the Italian Open, Errani and Paolini look to capture a Grand Slam title.

The ladies are not alone in the doubles finals, as the Italian pairing of Bolelli and Vavassori, seeded 11 take on no.9 seeds Arevalo and Pavic.

This could be a fantastic weekend for the Azzurri.

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