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Donna Vekic vs Jasmine Paolini predictions: Impressive Italian can maintain hot streak
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Aaron Ashley
Jasmine Paolini has carried her French Open form into Wimbledon
Jasmine Paolini has carried her French Open form into Wimbledon

- Jasmine Paolini has lost only two of her last 15 matches
- Jasmine Paolini has won four of her five Wimbledon matches in straight sets
- Recommended bet:
Jasmine Paolini -2.5 games on handicap

Having finished runner-up to Iga Swiatek at the French Open, fast-improving Italian Jasmine Paolini is eyeing another Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

The only thing standing in her way is the unseeded Donna Vekic but Paolini, very much a late developer in the game, must be feeling pretty confident about her semi-final prospects.

The 28-year-old claimed only her second career title on the WTA Tour at the Dubai Championships in February and the now world number seven had been the world number 31 as recently as November last year.

That highlights her rapid rise and being on the brink of making back-to-back Grand Slam finals suggests she could be a force to be reckoned with in the seasons to come.

Consistency is hard to find on the WTA Tour but Paolini seems to have discovered some rhythm and she will start a strong favourite against Vekic, who is making her Grand Slam semi-final debut.

The Croatian, unseeded at world number 37, has had a pretty soft route to the final four, with only one of her five victims at the All England Club having been seeded in the draw.

The stats

Paolini has lost only two of her last 15 matches and four of her five Wimbledon wins have been in straight sets.

In fact, eight of the Italian's last 10 matches have been settled in straight sets.

Remarkably, Paolini had lost in the opening round at Wimbledon in all three previous visits prior to this year's heroics.

All three meetings between these two players have been decided in straight sets, with Paolini prevailing on two of those occasions.

Four of Vekic's five Wimbledon assignments have gone to a deciding set, with her spending over 10 hours on court.

This is the Croatian's first Grand Slam semi-final appearance, but she has made two further quarter-finals in the past.


Donna Vekic is looking to qualify for her first Grand Slam final
Donna Vekic is looking to qualify for her first Grand Slam final

Paolini must have had some concerns about heading to Wimbledon as the seventh seed, given the fact her three previous trips to the All England Club had all ended at the opening hurdle.

However, the Italian has shown that she is here to stay in the world's top 10, displaying her versatility regarding the surface with a run to the semi-final.

Given she also reached the final of the French Open last month, Paolini is arguably the most consistent player on the WTA Tour right now and she has been outclassing some strong opponents in south-west London.

Paolini made extremely light work of Emma Navarro in the quarter-final, winning 6-2 6-1 inside an hour, which has to be respected given her victim had previously accounted for second seed Coco Gauff.

It means the 28-year-old has won four of her five matches in straight sets, going the distance only with Madison Keys, and she is fancied to be too streetwise for Vekic.

When things click for Vekic, she is a serious operator, but this is her maiden Grand Slam semi-final and her all-out attacking style can lead to plenty of unforced errors.

Given Paolini is extremely adept at staying in rallies and can also match her in the department of hitting witters, this looks a tough test for Vekic.

The Croatian has also been pushed to the limit throughout these Championships, needing a deciding set in four of her five matches, so there is a possibility of her running out of steam both mentally and physically.

When these two last locked horns in Montreal in August of last year, Paolini won 7-6 6-2 and when she gets on top she is extremely difficult to reel back in.

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