Advertisement

Dazzling Paolini ends Andreeva’s fairytale run to set up French Open final against Swiatek

French Open: Jasmine Paolini vs Mirra Andreeva score and latest semi-final updates
Jasmine Paolini has reached her first grand slam final - AP/Jean-Francois Badias

The fairytale run of 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva came to an end in the Roland Garros semi-finals, as she was eliminated in straight sets by 12th seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

Andreeva’s unexpectedly long campaign had been one of the stories of the tournament, but after her 6-3, 6-1 exit, the focus now shifts to a phenomenal performance from the Italian contingent across the board.

At 28, Paolini is the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam final since the 2015 US Open – when Flavia Pennetta defeated her compatriot Roberta Vinci to land her only major – and the first to do so at Roland Garros since her own doubles partner Sara Errani in 2012.

Remarkably, Paolini and Errani are still in the doubles event here, with a semi-final to play tomorrow, while two male Italians – Simone Bollelli and Andrea Vavassori – came through their own match on Thursday to reach Saturday’s men’s doubles final.

And we haven’t even mentioned the biggest story of the fortnight: the promotion of Italy’s 22-year-old world-beater Jannik Sinner to world No1 following Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal through injury.

Sinner – who thus became the first Italian to lead the world rankings – will face Carlos Alcaraz in a mouthwatering semi-final on Friday afternoon.

More to follow...


05:58 PM BST

Worth the wait for Paolini


05:46 PM BST

Paolini reacts

It was a tough match, Andreeva is playing unbelievable. She is 17 and so complete, so I was a bit nervous. I lost to her one month ago. I was nervous in the first set but ball after ball, I was getting relaxed. I’m really happy I could win the match at the end.

I wanted to step on court and do better. Hit the ball, enjoy and it worked so I’m really happy.

I learned a bit later than other players maybe but to dream is the most important thing in sport and life. I’m happy I could dream this moment.


05:36 PM BST

Watch: The winning moment for Paolini


05:26 PM BST

Paolini* 6-3, 6-1 Andreeva

Brilliant backhand pass by Paolini beats Andreeva at the net, 0-30. Unplayable shot making from Paolini and she finishes with a forehand winner to bring up three match points.

GAME SET MATCH PAOLINI. One final forehand winner from Paolini to complete an emphatic victory and seal a place in the final.


05:23 PM BST

Paolini 6-3, 5-1 Andreeva*

Slight drop in focus from Paolini gives Andreeva a break point. But for the sixth time, Paolini is as secure as ever. She drags Andreeva to the net with a drop ball, Andreeva gets the ball over the ball but only presents it to Paolini to finish with an easy volley.

Paolin moves to within a game of the final after a 30th unforced error from Andreeva. That stat is the big reason by Andreeva will not be in Saturday’s final.


05:18 PM BST

Paolini* 6-3, 4-1 Andreeva

Andreeva leaves the ball mid court, Paolini pounces on it and crushes a forehand winner, 15-30.

Short return by Paolini. It is an easy put away winner on a good day for Andreeva. But it is not a good day for the teen as she sprays a backhand long. Two break points.

Another backhand error by Andreeva as she hits miscues a backhand long and Paolini secures what should be the decisive double break.


05:13 PM BST

Paolini 6-3, 3-1 Andreeva*

Errors are piling up for Andreeva and Paolini extends her lead, winning three games in a row. Time is running out for the teenager.


05:08 PM BST

Paolini* 6-3, 2-1 Andreeva

Andreeva’s concentration has deserted her and she is forced to defend three break points. The Russian saves the first two with some gutsy play at the net.

But not the third as she dumps a backhand into the net. Paolini breaks!


05:06 PM BST

Paolini 6-3, 1-1 Andreeva*

Andreeva’s reliable groundstrokes are offline at the moment and she is growing frustrated. But credit Paolini for continuing to get the ball back into play and making the youngster play an extra ball.

Paolini holds to 30.


05:04 PM BST

Second set: Paolini* 6-3, 0-1 Andreeva

A must win set for Andreeva and she starts it well with a blistering backhand winner down the line to hold serve to 30.

Five break points came and went in the first for the Russian. She needs to improve on that if she wants to win this match.


04:54 PM BST

Paolini 6-3 Andreeva*

Frustration for Andreeva as she struggles to keep the ball in court and give Paolini something to think about. Paolini earns two set points and she takes them first time around when a forehand return by Andreeva sails long.

Not the highest quality match but Paolini won’t care. She is a set away from the final.


04:52 PM BST

Paolini* 5-3 Andreeva

Andreeva does what she needs to do and holds to 30 when Paolini’s return goes long.

Big pressure on the Italian now.


04:47 PM BST

Paolini 5-2 Andreeva*

Sloppy by Paolini as she slips from 40-0 to facing break point but Andreeva lets her off the hook when a backhand goes long. The Russian gets another break chance but Paolini rises to the occasion again with a lovely drop shot which is too good for Andreeva.

Andreeva hits a wild forehand wide and Paolini holds to move within one game of the set. The young Russian has had her chances so far but has been too wasteful.


04:38 PM BST

Paolini* 4-2 Andreeva

Gasps from the crowd as Paolini picks up the pace with her forehand. The Italian hits a very big ball when she gets time. She is making Andreeva pay for her errors and takes the game to deuce.

Second serve ace from Andreeva to hold serve and keep herself in the game.


04:32 PM BST

Paolini 4-1 Andreeva*

Ideal response from Andreeva as she earns herself two break back points but she squanders both to the relief of Paolini.

A backhand pushed long from Paolini gives Andreeva another opportunity but the Italian gets a huge slice of luck when her forehand hits the net cord twice and the ball drops on the young Russian’s side of the court.

An 11th unforced error by Andreeva and Paolini consolidates the break.


04:28 PM BST

Paolini* 3-1 Andreeva

Errors beginning to flow from Andreeva and a miscued backhand gives Paolini her first break point chance.

And she takes it on the very first attempt when Andreeva nets a forehand.

French Open: Jasmine Paolini vs Mirra Andreeva score and latest semi-final updates
Italy's Jasmine Paolini in action - Reuters/Yves Herman

04:22 PM BST

Paolini 2-1 Andreeva*

Andreeva has come alive. She looks to be the bigger hitter from the baseline as she moves to 0-30. But maybe she got ahead of herself on her forehand side as she allows Paolini back into the game and the Italian rattles off four points in a row to hold.


04:21 PM BST

Paolini* 1-1 Andreeva

Important game for Andreeva to settle herself down and she demonstrates some easy power with her groundstrokes to move Paolini on the baseline. And she holds to 15 with swinging drive forehand winner.


04:15 PM BST

First set: Jasmine Paolini 1-0 Mirra Andreeva* (*denotes next server)

Andreeva hasn’t found her range in this game and that allows Paolini to make a solid start with a service hold to 15.

This is the biggest match in the careers of both players so no surprise if there is early nerves.


04:11 PM BST

... world No 1 Iga Swiatek


04:10 PM BST

Here we go!

It is time for the second semi-final. The players come out to a sparsely populated Philippe Chatrier Court. The Parisians are having a little break after the end of the first semi-final, which was won by...


04:02 PM BST

Shades of Andy Murray with the way Andreeva reached the final


03:53 PM BST

History maker


03:48 PM BST

French Open betting offers and free bets

Having a bet on the tennis? First take a look at these French Open betting offers for the best free bets.


03:39 PM BST

A place in the French Open final at stake

Hello and welcome to coverage of the second women’s French Open semi-final between Italy’s Jasmine Paolini and teen sensation Mirra Andreeva.

You would have got long odds on Paolini and Andreeva coming through their respective draws to reach the last four but they certainly earned their spots as they claimed the biggest victories of their career.

First Paolini beat Elena Rybakina in three sets then Andreeva took out Australian Open champion Sabalenka. It means we will have a first time grand slam finalist on Saturday against either Iga Swiatek or Coco Gauff.

“With Mirra, it’s going to be a tough match. I played against her in Madrid, and she’s a really great player,” said Paolini, who become the fourth Italian woman after Francesca Schiavone, Sara Errani and Martina Trevisan to make the French Open semi-finals in the open era.

“She’s so young but she’s so, so good mentally, and she can defend very well. She can serve well. It’s going to be a tough match, but we are in the semi-final, so there is no chance to get easy matches.”

Andreeva is also in unchartered territory but has been tipped for the top of women’s tennis. At 17 years and 38 days, Andreeva is the youngest women’s singles grand slam semi-finalist since Martina Hingis in 1997 at the US Open, and the youngest at the French Open since Hingis in 1997.

“I would say that I didn’t really expect [to be] playing [in the] semi finals,” she said. “I played (Varvara) Gracheva a few days ago and I was, like, ‘if I win the match I will be in quarter finals, but then if I play Sabalenka and if I win I can be in semi finals. Wow, that could be a dream’.

“I will be playing semi finals, and so my thoughts kind of came true. So if we look back, I wouldn’t expect myself playing semi finals, because that was just kind of a dream for me in the beginning of the tournament, but now I will be playing semi finals, so I’ve got to prepare for the match already.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.