Paolini Refuses To Give Up And Beats Vekic In Longest Wimbledon Women's Semi-Final Ever

Paolini Refuses To Give Up And Beats Vekic In Longest Wimbledon Women's Semi-Final Ever

by Zachary Wimer

Last updated

Donna Vekic nearly made her dream of playing in a Grand Slam final a reality, but Jasmine Paolini secured her second in a row after an epic 2024 Wimbledon Championships semi-final.

For many years, Vekic was talked about as a very talented tennis player who has all the ingredients to become a really strong player. Despite that, the Croatian never made it happen, as she struggled with consistency and sometimes also injuries.

However, her run in London was certainly proving a fairytale for her. She had solid performances since the start of the event, and even though she was able to continue against the seventh seed, it was just not enough.

The Italian has been one of the best players in the world in the past two months. She stood in the Roland Garros final and now reached the Wimbledon final as well. Still, in this semi-final, it was the Croatian who took the opening set 6-2, as she was firing on all cylinders.

Paolini is a good hitter and can hit many winners, but Vekic didn't allow the match to be on her racket. She took the initiative most of the time and totaled 12 winners in that opening set. That was a far better mark than Paolini's 5, and it's why she won the opening set.

The Italian stabilized in the second as she didn't miss as much, but Vekic did. She missed a bit more in the second set, which kept the Italian in the match. It proved vital because Paolini ended up winning the second set 6-4 as Vekic pushed a bit too much.

The final set was a very exciting one as both players gave it their all. Vekic took an early break, but Paolini pulled it back. The Croatian took the lead once more but again couldn't hold it.

The Italian then wasted a couple of match points before the match ended up in a match tie-break. It was a crazy tie-break with nothing in it, but eventually, Paolini was able to win it 10-8 to reach the 2024 Wimbledon Championships final.

Paolini won the match 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(8) in two hours and 51 minutes, beating the previous mark for the longest-ever women's singles semi-final at Wimbledon, which was set in 2009 before a final-set tie-break was played, when Serena Williams beat Elena Dementieva 6-7(4), 7-5, 8-6.

For Paolini, reaching back-to-back major finals starts a new chapter in her career, as she's guaranteed to break into the Top 5 on the WTA Tour after the event and make it to the Top 3 in the 2024 WTA Race. Also in her post-match interview, she was clearly emotional.

"It was really tough. She played unbelievable. She was hitting winners everywhere. I was struggling at the beginning. I repeated to myself to fight every ball and try to improve a little bit on the court because I was serving really bad."

"I’m so happy with this win. This match I will remember forever. There’s no place better than here.. to fight every point and every ball. For a tennis player this is the best place to play a match like this. Thank you for cheering for me."

Donna Vekic vs Jasmine Paolini Match Stats:

Donna Vekic Jasmine Paolini
7 Aces 5
7 Double Faults 3
58% First Serve % 63%
83% (48/58) Points Won After First Serve % 67% (54/81)
40% (17/42) Points Won After Second Serve % 46% (22/48)
27% (4/15) Break Point Conversion 43% (3/7)
42 Winners 26
57 Unforced Errors 32


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