Powerful Paolini progresses as Sun-ny run comes to and end

IT is continuing to be the year to remember for Italian Jasmine Paolini, who breezed past Emma Navarro in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to reach her first ever semi-final at Wimbledon.

In just under an hour, seventh seed Paolini was too strong for the American 19th seed, smashing 19 winners to Navarro’s mere six.

In a match that was in areas pretty even (including aces, double faults and unforced errors), despite Navarro having the better first serve in percentage, Paolini crucially had the better percentages for points won off both first and second serve, and break points won.

Beaming post-match, Paolini said that the feeling was “unbelievable”.

“Just unbelievable It’s amazing to get the win in this court, in this special court,” she said. “I’m so lucky to be in the semi-finals. I don’t know what to say.

“It’s so special. I mean it’s a dream to be here in this position. You know I was watching finals when I was a kid on this court – and I don’t know, it’s strange to be here.”

Not only is she about to embark on her first Wimbledon semi final, but she will become the first Italian woman to reach the semi-final stage at the All England Club when she takes on Donna Vekic.

Vekic’s path through the quarter final stage was not as straight forward as Paolini’s, coming from a set down to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 and end the impressive run of Kiwi Lulu Sun.

Despite having the wobbles at times – serving five double faults at 5-3 in the second set – the Croatian held firm and progressed through.

In a match with a huge number of aces (21 in total), Vekic was dominant in a number of key stat areas, including first serve points won (87 to 67 PER CENT), break points won (50 to 33 per cent) and net points won (91 to 44 per cent).

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