Jasmine Paolini is one step away from becoming Wimbledon champion after beating Donna Vekic in a championship tiebreak.

Both players were competing in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time in their careers.


Paolini entered the match as the favourite having only dropped one set all tournament and she dominated Emma Navarro in the previous round.

The Italian has also been enjoying a breakout year on tour having reached the French Open final just a few weeks ago.

Jasmine Paolini won a historic semi-final

Jasmine Paolini won a historic semi-final

REUTERS

Vekic was made to work against qualifier Lulu Sun having dropped the first set in her quarter-final.

But it set up a fascinating semi-final with both players just two wins away from their maiden Grand Slam title.

Vekic took control of the match early on and threatened to immediately break Paolini’s serve in the very first game.

The world No 7 struggled to get her service game going though as Vekic showed no mercy on the other side of the net.

The Croatian star’s power was continuing to cause her opponent problems and she wrapped up the first set with relative ease, dropping just three points on serve.

Paolini appeared to settle into the match after that with her place in the tournament on the line.

Both players were battling to hold serve but Vekic was making more unforced errors in the second set that ultimately cost her.

Paolini managed to get the only break of the second set when it mattered most in the 10th game to force a decider.

Jasmine Paolini fought back after going a set down

Jasmine Paolini fought back after going a set down

REUTERS

All the momentum was with the Italian, but Vekic managed to dig deep and regain the advantage in the match by breaking Paolini’s serve in the first game.

Vekic’s serve had been her strong point throughout the match, but there was a sign of nerves in the sixth game when Paolini broke back.

The very next game saw Paolini fail to consolidate the break with Vekic seemingly suffering from an issue with her wrist.

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But a third break of serve in consecutive games followed to level up the match to create a nail-biting conclusion.

More to follow...