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    Jasmine Paolini’s Breakthrough at the French Open

    Jasmine Paolini, the Italian tennis sensation with Polish roots, has achieved a career-defining success at the French Open. In a stunning upset, Paolini advanced to the semifinals in Paris, defeating Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina with a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. The match lasted two hours and three minutes and showcased Paolini’s determination and skill.

    Paolini, whose mother is Polish, had never before reached the final four in a Grand Slam tournament. Reaching the quarterfinals was already a significant achievement for her, but she managed to push even further on Wednesday. The favorite for the match was Moscow-born Elena Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, who had not dropped a set on her way to the quarterfinals. However, she was far from her best form this time.

    Rybakina’s Defeat

    In the first set, Rybakina struggled against Paolini’s serve. Despite Paolini’s modest height of 163 centimeters and her serve lacking in speed, Rybakina only managed to win a single point on Paolini’s serve. Typically, Rybakina’s strength lies in her serve, but she failed to leverage it effectively during this match. Consequently, she lost the first set decisively. Paolini committed only one unforced error compared to Rybakina’s staggering 16 in the first set. The second set saw a more competitive play, with Rybakina breaking Paolini’s serve three times, leveling the match.

    However, Rybakina continued to struggle with unforced errors, making mistakes in seemingly easy situations. A notable moment was when she hit a backhand directly at the chair umpire, exemplifying her off-target plays. In total, she committed 48 unforced errors, while Paolini only had 22.

    “It’s an incredible feeling. It was a very tough match. In the second set, I got too excited. I told myself to fight for every ball and forget about the second set because that’s tennis, and it worked,” Paolini said.

    The Road Ahead

    Paolini’s next challenge will be in the semifinals on Thursday against either second-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka or Russian Mirra Andreeva. The other semifinal matchup will feature Poland’s Iga Świątek, who is aiming for her third consecutive title, against American Coco Gauff.

    Paolini’s unexpected journey to the semifinals has been a remarkable story, demonstrating the unpredictability and excitement of tennis. With her impressive performance, she has certainly made a name for herself on the grand stage of the French Open.

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