Jasmine Paolini Roars into 2nd Straight Grand Slam Final with Thrilling Wimbledon Victory Over Donna Vekic

No. 7 seed Jasmine Paolini showed off her determination and talent by defeating Donna Vekic in three sets, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8) at Wimbledon 2024.

With this triumph, Paolini advances to her second straight Grand Slam final and achieves a major turning point in her breakout 2024 campaign. The two hours and fifty-one minute match was a monument to Paolini’s tenacity and willpower.

Jasmine Paolini Roars into 2nd Straight Grand Slam Final with Thrilling Wimbledon Victory Over Donna Vekic
Paolini twice recovered from a break down in the decisive set, demonstrating her legendary tenacity on Thursday. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Paolini was coming off of her own historic journey to her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. The little Italian, continuing her incredible season, followed up her first WTA 1000 victory at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Roland Garros final with incredible form on grass. The joyful fighter advanced to the semifinals with just one set lost.

Vekic, who is also 28 years old and as explosive, was facing Lulu Sun in the quarterfinals. She had just pulled off an emotional comeback in that match, which secured her first-ever semifinal ticket following two prior quarterfinal appearances at the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open in 2021. But ever since she placed second in Birmingham back in 2013, when she was a teenager, grass has been her favorite surface.

She defeated Sloane Stephens in an exciting match in the previous year’s Championships, but she lost to Marketa Vondrousova in the next round and found it difficult to sustain her winning form in 2023.

Even after adding Hall of Famer Pam Shriver to her coaching staff, leg and foot ailments in 2021 and 2022 left the Croat disillusioned. As recently as last month’s Roland Garros, Vekic acknowledged she felt like she was about to call it a career.

“I felt like I’ve given everything I’ve got for tennis the last couple of months, and I wasn’t getting the results that I kind of expected,” she said on Tuesday. As a result, she lost all energy and ambition to keep practicing and pushing.

With the help of her teammates, she overcame the devastating loss to Olga Danilovic in Paris and concentrated on having a successful grass season. She made it to the Bad Homburg Open final and won four three-setters to achieve her greatest major achievement in her 43rd main draw appearance.

Even though the seventh-ranked Paolini was leading 2-1 in their head-to-head, Vekic had other ideas as the match got began and appeared to be the favorite to put an end to the unseeded player’s fairy tale. She broke the match open by pressing Paolini’s second serve, winning five games in a row, hitting twice as many winners (12 to 5), and held at love to take the opening set.

Also Read: Donna Vekic Overcomes Doubts to Reach Her First Grand Slam Semifinal at Wimbledon 2024

Reversing an earlier in the week 0-3 head-to-head against Emma Navarro in the quarterfinals, Paolini, who survived a three-setter against an ailing Madison Keys in the fourth round, is no stranger to overturning the odds. She intended to turn the tables early in the second set.

Paolini exhibited a noticeable increase in effort and withstood a flurry of powerful strokes from Vekic, who stumbled following a huge error from above. Paolini saved three break points in two service games. Paolini electrified the audience by winning seven of the following eight points and storming into a decider.

Paolini received her first match point after a careless miss from Vekic, but an occasionally agitated Vekic recovered. Together, the two gave the spectators an electrifying show: in the first game, Vekic saved a second match point with a stunning rally and forced a match tiebreak; in the second, Paolini saved two break opportunities and just hung on thanks to a successful challenge on a Vekic forehand.

After the Sudden Death’s first two changes of ends, the match was tied. Paolini took advantage of a solid serve to gain a third match point, and after Vekic made a final error, he converted to win one of the best matches of the year.

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