Paolini powers past shell-shocked Navarro, becomes first Italian woman to reach Wimbledon semi-final

Jasmine Paolini made history for Italy at Wimbledon, defeating Emma Navarro to reach the semis

Jasmine Paolini Wimbledon 2024 | Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic Jasmine Paolini Wimbledon 2024 | Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic

Different tournament, different surface – same jazz. Italian’s Jasmine Paolini has been hitting all the high notes ever since she took the courts at Roland-Garros this spring. The 28-year-old stormed to the final in Paris, where she fell to Iga Swiatek,and she hasn’t stopped there.

At Wimbledon, where she had never won a main draw match prior to this season, Paolini became the first Italian woman to ever reach the semi-finals with a devastating takedown over 19th-seeded American Emma Navarro, 6-2, 6-1.

Navarro erased a 0-3 lifetime record against Navarro, cracking 19 winners to just six for Navarro as she claimed her victory in 58 minutes.

“It’s unbelievable,” the Italian said. “It’s amazing to get the win in this special court – I’m so happy to be in the semi-finals I don’t know what to say at the moment.”

“It’s strange to be here”

Paolini, who entered the Championships at a career-high ranking of No 7, had never made a Grand Slam quarter-final prior to this season, and she had never won a tour-level match on grass prior to 2024.

Five impressive victories later, she’s looking like a bona fide title contender at SW19.

“It’s so special, it’s a dream to be here in this position, to be in the semi-final,” Paolini said. “I was watching finals when I was a kid, on this court, it’s strange to be here and to get the win and to be in the semi-finals at Wimbledon. I’m so happy and I have to say that today I played a really good match.”

Paolini attacked with precision and moved into the forecourt with confidence, winning 16 of 17 net points, as she converted five of her six break points.

She will face Croatia’s Donna Vekic in a battle of first-time Wimbledon semi-finalists on Thursday at Wimbledon. Vekic holds the 2-1 lifetime edge over Paolini, winning their last meeting at Montreal in 2023.

“She’s playing amazing,” said Paolini of her next opponent, whom “I hope to enjoy and give my 110 percent, I’m going to fight for every ball – I’m just so grateful to play here another time.”

The Italian is projected to crack the top-5 in next Monday’s WTA rankings, regardless of what happens next.

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