Jasmine Paolini advances to the semifinals of the French Open after defeating Elena Rybakina

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Jasmine Paolini pumped up after winning the match

Jasmine Paolini made it to her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal by defeating No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 at the French Open on Wednesday.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Paolini said.

The 12th-seeded Paolini, a 28-year-old from Italy, had never made it past the first or second round in her first 16 Grand Slam appearances before reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open in January. Now, she’s progressed even further by defeating the 2022 Wimbledon champion.

With Jannik Sinner reaching the men’s semifinals, it marks the first time both an Italian woman and man have appeared in the final four at the same Grand Slam tournament in the same year. It’s a significant moment for Italian tennis. On Monday, Sinner will become the first man to be No. 1 in the ATP rankings.

Paolini will face either No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka or unseeded 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva on Thursday for a spot in the title match.

Elena Rybakina reacts in the French Open Tennis

The other semifinal will feature No. 1 Iga Swiatek against No. 3 Coco Gauff.

Paolini made 22 unforced errors, less than half of Rybakina’s 48. She broke Rybakina’s serve seven times, despite Rybakina hitting 10 aces.

“I (got) a little bit too emotional in the second set,” Paolini said. “But then I said to myself: ‘OK. It’s good. She’s a great champion so it can happen. Just fight. Try to keep it there. Try to hit every ball.’ And, yeah, it worked.”

The first set was perfect for Paolini and challenging for Rybakina.

Paolini won the first 15 points she served and 16 of 17. She won 16 of 32 points Rybakina served.

While Paolini played cleanly and showed no signs of being overwhelmed, Rybakina struggled. By the end of the set, Rybakina had made 16 unforced errors — 15 more than Paolini.

In the second set, Paolini twice took the lead with a break, including a 4-3 lead. She was one point away from going up 5-3 and being just one game away from the biggest victory of her career.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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