Paolini faces Swiatek in first Grand Slam final

SURPRISE. Jasmine Paolini, who has never gone beyond the fourth round in previous grand slams, is now in her first major final. / AP
SURPRISE. Jasmine Paolini, who has never gone beyond the fourth round in previous grand slams, is now in her first major final. / AP

PARIS — Jasmine Paolini is struggling to believe she’s into her first Grand Slam final.

Paolini, who had never previously been past the fourth round at a major tournament, continued her run at the French Open by beating Mirra Andreeva 6-3, 6-1 in Thursday’s semifinals.

“It’s a great feeling to be in a Grand Slam final,” the 28-year-old Italian said. “I don’t know. It seems something impossible, you know, but it’s true.”

She faces two-time defending champion Iga Swiatek in Saturday’s final, the day before the men’s final.

And an Italian double is still a possibility because Jannik Sinner can reach the men’s final if he gets past Carlos Alcaraz on Friday. Win or lose, the Australian Open champion Sinner will have the No. 1 ranking on Monday.

“It’s unbelievable to see Jannik when he was 15 years old say that his dream was to be No. 1,” Paolini said. “For me it’s something different. I never dreamed to be in a Grand Slam final, and I’m here. I’m so happy.”

Paolini was far more clinical than the 17-year-old Andreeva, winning four of six break points while Andreeva was 0-6. Andreeva appeared tearful after going 4-1 down in the second set. / AP

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