Crowd favourite Paolini glides into Wimbledon fourth round


Jasmine Paolini continued to carry the flag for Italian tennis on the women's side as the seventh seed downed former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu 7-6(4) 6-1 at Wimbledon on Friday to make the fourth round for the first time.

The diminutive French Open runner-up, who also reached the last 16 at the Australian Open this season, became the first woman from her nation to make the second week at each of the first three majors in a single year.

While Italian men's number one Jannik Sinner has hogged much of the limelight with his maiden Grand Slam triumph at Melbourne this year, Paolini has won hearts with a mixture of fierce competitiveness and joviality on the court.

Having already beaten 2019 U.S. Open winner Andreescu in the Roland Garros third round last month, where the Canadian returned from nine-month injury layoff, Paolini delighted Court One fans and said she was enjoying being a crowd favourite.

"It was really nice to play out here in front of you guys, You are so many. It's a dream to play in this kind of stadium. I think I played a good match. I hope you enjoyed," Paolini said.

Paolini, who made the Eastbourne semi-finals to underline her grasscourt credentials ahead of Wimbledon, next plays 12th seed Madison Keys or 18th seed Marta Kostyuk for a spot in the quarter-final.

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