Nothing is promised in this world of dealing with the Pandemic and trying to do well as a professional tennis player. Jasmine Paolini knew when she began the tour this year that she wanted to make a difference in her attitude and game on the tennis circuit.
When she packed her clothes, rackets and other gear ready to participate in the Portoroz tournament in Slovenia she would never predict the result. It was in the last 5 tournaments that 23-year-old Paolini would only go a few rounds and then was defeated by players she might have been able to have victories against.
But Portoroz felt different to the Italian native. "I feel just very happy, it's a big achievement for me, to win my first title. On hard courts it's special", Paolini smilingly said. She had struggled to defeat Sofia Cirstea and Yulia Putintseva in the quarterfinal and semi-final to win in three hard-fought sets with both.
But facing Alison Riske, a near veteran on tour, the final would be Paolini's proof of her stamina and consistency in winning matches from difficult players. The Italian won the first set, a tiebreak in a suspenseful fight for success.
In the second set she had maintained her rhythm and strategies to find the open court and to hit down the lines with expert precision. Jasmine's momentum was overriding Riske's play and she began to feel this might be the start of something great.
She held her American opponent to two games and played an aggressive game to seal the win and the title. "I wasn't easy to go through to the final. I'm proud of myself because I never gave up," she honestly said.
There were many times that she couldn't see herself winning a match and possibly just didn't put forth a stronger effort. But this tournament wasn't the case. In July, in the German Open, Paolini played doubles with Jill Teichmann and was surprised to have made the final and won over their opponents 6-0, 6-4.
This was Paolini's first WTA title, in doubles that she never thought would be in her career resume. Grand slams are a bit frustrating for Jasmine as she lost the Australian Open first round to Karolina Pliskova. In the French Open, she was downed by Maria Sakkari in the second round in straight sets.
The grass season wasn't too successful for Paolini as Wimbledon lost her opening round to Germany's Andrea Petkovic. In the US Open, she experienced another loss in the second round to Victoria Azarenka. But they are all behind her now and she's trying for better results the next time around.
Jasmine Paolini looks at all her defeats as things to learn from and is determined to stay on track as she did with winning her maiden title. "I'm working really hard in the past couple of months. I understood more about my game...I just want to keep this level for all the season that is almost finished and to stay strong..."