Wimbledon: Jasmine Paolini Earns Billie Jean King’s Seal of Approval With Her Late-Career Exploits

“Dreams get the power to come true when you put trust in them.”– this year, Jasmine Paolini took the leap of faith as she trusted herself and her dreams. Though Some would call Paolini a late bloomer. When athletes start thinking about age, tennis doesn’t occupy the top stop on their list. However, Paolini would beg to differ, as not only her but also her game is “aging like a fine wine.” And the tennis legend, Billie Jean King agrees with her, as she thinks everything happens at its own pace, and so is Paolini’s exploits on the tennis court.

Paolini’s journey into the professional tennis circuit was no different from that of Gauff or the legendary Serena Williams. The Italian tennis star turned pro back in 2011, at the mere age of 15. However, despite being present on the tennis circuit for over a decade, she burst into the tennis scene only in her 28th year. Jean King couldn’t be happier as the Italian discovers her game. “She is an amazing player. I am really happy that in these last months, she has been able to finally express all her talent, completing her tennis maturation.”

Even though everyone would consider it a bit late. Jean King considers it perfect, as Paolini took her own journey to grow her “net and truly amazing forehand.” And the time has come for Paolini to own it on the court, as Jean King smashes the walls of age and time put in front of her. She said, “The truth is that everyone has their own time, some players reach the peak of their game when they are young, while others probably just need a little more time to understand, to learn, to grow in all aspects, and then to put it all together.”

Paolini’s tennis career took a major turn at the Roland Garros. Although she made it to the final of Roland Garros, the ultimate crown escaped her grip twice on the Red Clay. However, that defeat certainly fueled the desire to lift the Major’s crown. And here she is again, in the Semifinals of the Wimbledon. But, she is not the only player in the SFs in her late-20s. In this ‘strange edition’ of Wimbledon, everyone is celebrating ‘age is just a number’ except Rybakina. Other players stand beside Paolini when it comes to age.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 9, 2024 Italy’s Jasmine Paolini celebrates after winning her quarter final match against Emma Navarro of the U.S. REUTERS/Paul Childs

However, it’s not just Paolini who has matured her game over the years. But Italian tennis has also grown magnificently as they have produced World No.1 Jannik Sinner. Though they may have been heartbroken as he crashed out of QFs. But two Italians are still standing tall in the last four: Lorenzo Musseti and Paolini as they soften the Sinner blow for their countrymen! Would Paolini scale the ‘tough’ Donna Vekic to carry on her dream run?

Italy awaits history as Jasmine Paolini takes over Donna Vekic at Wimbledon

It’s not just Paolini who is waiting to claim her 1st major, but her nation too. It’s not a decade or two that the European nation has waited for Wimbledon glory in women’s singles, but the whole open era! Yes, Paolini is the first Italian woman to make it to the semifinals of the Wimbledon Championships in the open era. She certainly created history with her journey on the Grass court. But lifting the ultimate glory would be sweeter than anything.

After her QF win, Paolini was unable to express her dream moment. “It is so special, a dream to be here, in this position. I was watching finals on this court when I was a kid. It’s strange to be here.” – said Paolini. As she prepares to tackle Vekic threat in the SF.

Will she be able to fulfil her dream and her nation’s? Only time will tell, but with her strong form, she is a formidable opponent to compete with!

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