Wimbledon 2024: Paolini reaches semifinals, makes history for Italy

London, July 10 (IANS) French Open finalist Jasmine Paolini remained on course for a second successive major final as she defeated Emma Navarro in the quarterfinal to become the woman player from Italy to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon on Tuesday. Paolini rolled to a dominant 6-2, 6-1 win over the No.19 seed Navarro to reach the semifinals of the grass-court Grand Slam for the first time.
 | 
Wimbledon 2024: Paolini reaches semifinals, makes history for Italy

London, July 10 (IANS) French Open finalist Jasmine Paolini remained on course for a second successive major final as she defeated Emma Navarro in the quarterfinal to become the woman player from Italy to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon on Tuesday. Paolini rolled to a dominant 6-2, 6-1 win over the No.19 seed Navarro to reach the semifinals of the grass-court Grand Slam for the first time.

Italian women had previously lost all four quarterfinals in Wimbledon before Paolini's 58-minute triumph on Centre Court, which was also her first-ever win against Navarro -- who had upset No.2 seed Coco Gauff in the Round of 16 -- in four tries.

Down an early break at 2-1, Paolini soared to win 11 of the next 12 games, ending the match with 19 winners -- more than triple Navarro's six -- as both players hit 12 unforced errors. She only faced the one break point in the first set and saved all three she faced in the second set while breaking Navarro's serve five times in total.

Vekic outlasts Sun, makes maiden semis

Donna Vekic of Croatia pulled off a come-from-behind victory to reach the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career, halting the Cinderella run of qualifier Lulu Sun of New Zealand 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

In her third Grand Slam quarterfinal and first at Wimbledon, World No.37 Vekic had to battle hard to overcome 123rd-ranked Sun, who was aiming to become only the second qualifier to reach the ladies' singles semifinals at Wimbledon.

The 28-year-old Vekic eventually edged past 23-year-old Sun after 2 hours and 8 minutes of play on No.1 Court, breaking new personal ground at a Grand Slam event by making the final four.

In the Open Era (since 1968), only Barbora Strycova (53), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (52), Elena Likhovtseva (46), and Roberta Vinci (44) took more Grand Slam appearances to make a maiden semifinal.

But Vekic, who won her first WTA title a decade ago at age 17, has been adept on grass courts. The Croat has reached five singles finals on the surface, including a title at 2017 Nottingham. This season, she is now 10-3 on grass, including a final two weeks ago in Bad Homburg.

Vekic's performance also matches a Wimbledon best for her country. Vekic is the second woman representing Croatia to make the Wimbledon semifinals, following Mirjana Lucic in 1999, 25 years ago.

--IANS

bsk/