French Open: Paolini and Andrejewa surprise with semi-final entry

French Open: Paolini and Andrejewa surprise with semi-final entry

Jasmine Paolini continues the Italian festivities at the Grand Slam tournament. Even more unexpected is the quarterfinal victory of a 17-year-old Russian against a physically ailing favorite.

Two outsiders have surprisingly completed the semi-finals at the French Open. First, the Italian Jasmine Paolini celebrated the greatest success of her career with a 6:2, 4:6, 6:4 win against the former Wimbledon champion Jelena Rybakina from Kazakhstan. A little later, the 17-year-old Mirra Andrejewa caused an even bigger surprise.

The young Russian defeated the physically ailing world number two Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus 6:7 (5:7), 6:4, 6:4, making her the youngest semi-finalist at a Grand Slam tournament since the Swiss Martina Hingis (16). It was also the biggest success to date for Andrejewa, who is coached by former top player Conchita Martínez.

“At the moment I’ve even forgotten what the result is. I tried to just concentrate on myself,” said the world number 38 in an interview on Court Philippe Chatrier. Sabalenka struggled with pain throughout the entire match, and even medical timeouts and painkillers didn’t seem to help.

Regarding the underdog semifinal this Thursday against Paolini, Andrejewa said: “She plays very fast and moves very quickly. I will try to play at the same level as today.” In the second semifinal, Polish world number one Iga Swiatek and US star Coco Gauff will face each other.

Italian holidays in Paris

Paolini continued the Italian festivities in Paris. One day before the world number 15, her compatriot Jannik Sinner had already reached the semifinals in the men’s singles. According to sports data provider Opta, this means that for the first time in the professional era, tennis professionals from Italy have reached the semifinals of the two singles competitions of a Grand Slam tournament. The 22-year-old Sinner will also be the first Italian to take over the number one spot in the world rankings from next week, regardless of the outcome of his match on Friday against Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Paolini after her first Grand Slam semifinal appearance. “I was too emotional in the second set, and I said to myself: she’s a great champion, this can happen. I kept fighting and came back.”

Source: Stern

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