Jasmine Paolini reveals she is a Roger Federer super-fan

The Italian, who qualified for the Wimbledon semifinals by beating Emma Navarro in straight sets, told an interesting anecdote about the Swiss Maestro in a press conference

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Jasmine Paolini reveals she is a Roger Federer super-fan
© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport

The dream is becoming reality for Jasmine Paolini, who defeated American Emma Navarro 6-2 6-1 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, qualifying for her first semifinal on the London lawns, her second consecutive semifinal, after Roland Garros (where she reached the final). Not only that: Paolini is the first Italian player in history to reach the semifinal at the Championships. And to get there, she overcame Navarro for the first time, against whom she had always lost in previous matches. Jasmine will now challenge Donna Vekic to reach her second consecutive Slam final.

At the press conference she said that if before Paris they had told her that she would have at least reached the semifinals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon she would have told them that they were crazy! Furthermore, the Italian tennis player also told an episode that concerns her favorite tennis player, Roger Federer.

"Between the two, perhaps the most incredible is the semifinal at Wimbledon. And between making the semifinals in Paris and making the semifinals at Wimbledon, if they had told me choose, I would have said Wimbledon. I remember, as a lot of Federer's finals report. I was a huge Roger fan and I watched them all. But also some of the women. Now I always try to remember where I am, because it is important to realize what you are doing and to be happy and content with it. Now I play on Centre Court and it seemed, in quotes, more normal to me, but it is not. If I think back to when I was a child I say that this is not a normal thing and I have to be happy about it and I have to always remember that I dreamed this thing," she said.

Jasmine Paolini
Jasmine Paolini© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Emma Navarro said that if Paolini continues like this she will win the tournament. Jasmine responded to her opponent's praise, saying:

"Let's see, it's still a long way to go. I always try to focus on the next match, Donna Vekic is dangerous and serves well. I lost to her indoors in Courmayeur, I won last time in Toronto. The next match is a Slam semifinal. One step at a time, give your best, without too many thoughts in your head: it's already quite difficult to face a semi-Slam. I think: I'm in the semifinals, but at the same time it's a match. I prepare it like the others," she added.

Jasmine Paolini
Jasmine Paolini© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Before the current season, Jasmine Paolini had not won a single match on grass in her career. Now she has been able to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon: the most prestigious tournament in tennis.

"It's amazing to win a match on Centre Court at Wimbledon. I'm so happy to be in the semi-finals that I don't know what to say. It's a dream to be in the semi-finals at Wimbledon. I used to watch the finals when I was little and it's strange to find myself in this position now: I'm in the semi-finals at Wimbledon. I played a great match, she's a tough opponent and I think I played a great match. It'll be tough, in the semi-finals at a Slam you always face strong players. Donna is playing very well. I'll try to give 100% and fight for every ball. It'll be fantastic to play another match on this special court. I thank all the Italians," she explained.

Paolini played a perfect first set and, with the score at 3-2 in her favor, she broke her opponent's serve twice to close the first set 6-2. Paolini literally annihilated Navarro, throughout the match but, perhaps, in particular, in the second set. Paolini saved a delicate third game in which she also saved break points, then she was the one to break away, forcing Navarro's serve once again to fly to 4-1. Navarro in total confusion, Paolini, truly sumptuous, went to close 6-1. Jasmine played an extraordinary match worthy of applause and, as I said before, she will now face Donna Vekic in the semifinals, who beat Lulu Sun with a score of 5-7 6-4 6-1. Personal note: her splendid smile is an extra weapon that lights up these rainy London afternoons!

Jasmine Paolini Roger Federer Emma Navarro
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