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    Wimbledon 2024: Jasmine Paolini seals place in final after epic three-set win over Donna Vekic – ‘It is a dream’


    Jasmine Paolini roared back from a set down to claim a place in her first Wimbledon final with a 2-6 6-4 7-6(8) win over Donna Vekic.

    It continues a remarkable 2024 for the world No. 7, who has now progressed to her second Grand Slam final this year after her Roland-Garros loss to Iga Swiatek last month.

    “It was really tough today,” Paoloni said in her on-court interview. “She was hitting unbelievable.

    “I was a little bit struggling at the beginning, but I was telling myself to fight for every ball.

    “I am so happy with the win, this match I will remember forever. 

    “There is no place better than here to fight for every point, it is a joy to play in front of you [Centre Court spectators].”

    Vekic landed the first blow of the contest when she broke Paolini in the fifth game.

    A cross-court forehand crafted three set points for the Croat, and she drew first blood on the first of those with an ace after 35 minutes.

    Paolini claimed a crucial hold at 2-1 in the second set after staving off a break point and sealing the game with an ace.

    The Italian showed brilliant resistance to tee up two set points, and prevailed on the first of those with a well-executed forehand – and breaking Vekic for the first time – to take the clash into a decider.

    Vekic responded with an early break at the start of the decider when Paolini hit a forehand into the net.

    Paolini was straining every sinew in a bid to hold on in the decider, and was right back in it after breaking through Vekic’s serve again at 3-3.

    The two continued to trade blows, and Paolini held serve in an epic 11th game of the set – leaving her opponent in tears.

    picture

    Donna Vekic on day 11 of The Championships Wimbledon 2024 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2024 in London, England

    Image credit: Getty Images

    Vekic staved off a match point with a nerveless forehand down the line, and despite her tank looking empty she was able to hold and take the contest to a tie-break.

    As the match ticked past two hours and 49 minutes to become the longest women’s semi-final at Wimbledon, as confirmed by the commentary team on the BBC, Paolini brought up match point and she secured the win when Vekic sent a forehand into the tramlines.

    ‘Last few months have been crazy’

    On becoming the first woman since Serena Williams in 2016 to make the final at the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year, Paolini added: “I think these last months have been crazy for me.

    “I have been trying to focus on what I have to do on court, enjoying what I am doing, as I love playing tennis.

    “It is a dream. I was watching finals at Wimbledon as a kid, so I am enjoying and just living in the present.

    “The last months have been crazy for me.”

    Asked about being part of the longest women’s semi-final at Wimbledon, Paolini said: “It was an intense match.

    “I tried to play my best and now is the time to recover as we played for nearly three hours. 

    “I am going to go for an ice bath as my legs are a bit tired.”

    Stream daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm UK time, as well as the two singles finals live on July 13 and 14, on discovery+



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