Lorenzo Musetti and Jasmine Paolini add Italian flavour to Wimbledon

Musetti Paolini
Lorenzo Musetti se sumó a Jasmine Paolini en las semis de Wimbledon
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LONDON – Loosing Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon is not a tragedy for Italy. After the defeat of the world number one, italians are enjoying the marble backhand of Lorenzo Musetti and the radiant smile of the multicultural Jasmine Paolini. Both are shining on the London grass in 2024.

“I probably played my best tennis today,” Musetti said quite rightly. The Queens finalist played phenomenal and very old fashioned tennis against Taylor Fritz, especially in the fifth set. Musetti varied his slice and flat shots with class, and made Fritz run with surprise drop shots and counter-attacking lobs. He was effective when he went to the net, and was able to dominate in a back-and-forth match 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.

In March, the Italian became a father just a few days after his 22nd birthday. Perhaps, family time is being one of the keys for Musetti in what is so far his best Grand Slam campaign of his career: in his spare time, he has been spotted in white overalls strolling his little Ludovico with his partner, designer Veronica Confalonieri, through the streets of the Wimbledon Village.

He will have the challenge of facing another father who is with his children at Wimbledon, but instead of strolling them around, he plays tennis with them. Novak Djokovic advanced to the semifinals without playing due to Alex De Miñaur’s injury withdrawal. Instead of working on Centre Court, the Serb played with Stefan and Tara on the courts at Aorangi Park.

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“He probably knows the surface and the stadium better,” Musetti said humorously about the seven-time champion: “He’s done amazing things here at Wimbledon. We’ve always had great battles, and on Friday I’m expecting another one. It will be the ultimate challenge of my career.”

A Wimbledon final is a very rare prize for Italy, a country with a great tennis culture and structure. In the whole history, only Matteo Berretini played in that instance (2021).

Jasmine Paolini, as Musetti, smiles in Wimbledon // WIMBLEDON

Jasmine Paolini will also be playing her cards, just on a surface where she did not have a good record. Of the eleven matches she had won in her life, eight came in the last fortnight, at Eastbourne and Wimbledon. The explanation for her campaign in England? Paolini finally listened to her coach.

“I hadn’t realized it before, but my coach had always said I had the conditions to play well here. I didn’t really believe it. I never expect to make the semifinals here. I’m enjoying the grass,” she said after earning her place in the top four of the tournament.

From a cultural mix of Ghanaian and Polish origin on her mother’s side, and Italian on her father’s, Paolini is known on the circuit as the tennis player with the eternal smile. Donna Vekic, her opponent in the semis, described her well: “She is a very nice girl, you will always see her smiling. I don’t know if anyone smiles more than her on a tennis court”.

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