Jasmine Paolini is living her best life at the most perfect time for tennis

Paolini is the Italian version of American Danielle Collins in 2024 and that is a great thing for tennis fans.
Jasmine Paolini at Wimbledon 2024
Jasmine Paolini at Wimbledon 2024 / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

First, tennis fans got to see Danielle Collins have the beginning to her best year in the final year of her career. Collins, due to health issues, decided to stop playing professional tennis after 2024. She had won two career titles before this year. Instead of playing out the string, she began playing her best, pressure-free and won two tournaments alone in 2024.

Next, Jasmine Paolini came out of relative obscurity to make some noise on the WTA tour. The question is how? She is not a tall person. She must use all the speed she can muster to chase down balls and somehow find the open spots on her opponent's side to win. She is very much like us weekenders who play defensive tennis in hopes her foe makes more errors than we do.

Only, Paolini is extremely talented as it turns out. Even though she is 5'4", she musters quite a lot of power. Her serve isn't immense, but her forehands are bombastic and well-placed. Where was all of this in the first few years of her career?

Jasmine Paolini is just what tennis needs

The diminutive Italian had only been past the third round at any Masters 1000 or Grand Slam event once before 2024. Late last year, though, she reached the Cincinnati Open quarterfinals and her career has seemingly changed since. This year, Paolini won the Dubai Championships and then shockingly reached the final of the French Open. She hadn't made it past the second round previously.

Currently, Jasmine Paolini is on her best run ever at Wimbledon too. On Thursday, she will play Donna Vekic in the semifinals. She has a very real chance to make her second straight major final. Before this year, Paolini had never won a single match past qualifiers at the grass-court major.

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She isn't overly young. She is now 28 years old and that is a time when many players start planning for the end of their careers. Paolini is playing as if she is 22 and just beginning. The only thing that might hold her back is an injury because her skill set on clay and grass courts allows her to run down points. Still, the issue is where was all of this success before 2024?

No matter, Paolini is a refreshing player with a quick smile and clearly has a true love of tennis. We want her to win because she seems to understand she has been handed what might be a late-career gift of success and she is humble about it. She's one of us, and let's hope she wins Wimbledon so we can win too.

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