Jasmine Paolini in final in Palermo

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Jasmine Paolini in final in Palermo

Jasmine Paolini last night captured her seventh career final in a WTA tournament and her third this year. In fact, on the red clay of Palermo, the 27-year-old Tuscan native of Bagni di Lucca, world number 52, beat Spain’s Sara Sorribes Toemo, number 85, in the semifinals with a score of 7-6 6-0.

Paolini immediately went down by a break in a hard-fought first game, rose from 2-0 to 2-2 but then lost her serve again in the fifth game going up one more time from 4-2 to 4-4. None lost serve again until the tie-break, which was a festival of points lost on serve: 9 of 14.

Jasmine goes down 0-2, then 1-3 but here she reverses the situation until 5-3, is taken back on 5-5 and then finally manages to close on the second set point for 8-6 a partial in which she almost always chased. The second set had no history: in three service turnovers Sorribes Tormo scraped together only one point but Paolini had to nullify two break points in the second game, later closing on her second match point after an hour and 50 minutes of play.

In the final, Jasmine will face China’s Qinwen Zheng, No. 26, who beat 6-4 4-6 6-1 in the second semifinal in over three hours, Egypt’s Mayar Sherif, No. 38. The Tuscan goes in the hunt for her fourth WTA title after those in Bol and Portoroz in 2021 and Florence two months ago; if she hits it, she will break into the world’s top 40 for the first time.

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