Multicultural Jasmine Paolini, the surprise of Roland Garros

Jasmine Paolini, finalista de Roland Garros 2024
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Whoever wants to ask Jasmine Paolini “where are you from” should perhaps have a few minutes to immerse themselves in a cultural journey around the world.

The great surprise of the French Open 2024 was born 28 years ago in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, a small village in the middle of Tuscany. Her father is Italian, but the family tree on her mother’s side is more varied. Her maternal grandmother is Polish, her paternal grandfather from Ghana.

She speaks fluent Italian, Polish and English. In English she acknowledged to her on-court interviewer after the semifinals, former tennis player Alex Correja that hers was a late progress in tennis. “I learned late in this sport,” said the player of great personality and easy smile.

In Paris, where she is showing the best game she has ever seen in her life, she dispatched Mirra Andreeva 6-3, 6-1. She will face world number one (and also, compatriot) Iga Swiatek. If she pulls off a major upset, Paolini will become the shortest Grand Slam champion in history.

Her 163 centimeters (one less than Billie Jean King) do not make her self-conscious. “I don’t have any secret weapon, I wish I was taller, because I could serve better, but I think I accept everything about my body very well. I am short, I know, but we try not to make this a problem, so we are looking to do something different to improve other aspects, such as service. Of course I wish I was taller, but I’m fine, I accept who I am,” she explained at a press conference.

2024 is by far the most successful season of her life. Paolini, started with a surprise title at the Dubai Masters 1000. This year, the Italian started the year in 30th place and on Monday she will be at leat in the seventh position. If she pulls off the upset of the year and denies Swiatek her fourth crown in Paris, Paolini will be top 5.

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“It’s been a whole process, it’s not as if changing something all of a sudden, the difference is that now I enter the court and I see that I have a chance to win every match. Before, when I played against the best I thought I needed a miracle to win. I can even tell you that I used to lose the matches before playing”, she admitted.

She is also smiling in the doubles, with her friend and mentor Sara Errani they are one step away from the final at Roland Garros. They won a few weeks ago at the Italian Open.

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