Italy's Jasmine Paolini is WTA’s newest Top 10 star

Italy's Jasmine Paolini is WTA’s newest Top 10 star

Casual tennis fans may not have been super familiar with Jasmine Paolini before this season.

That certainly has changed over the past five months. Paolini, one of this season’s biggest breakout stars, is a newly minted member of the WTA’s Top 10.

On the heels of making the Roland Garros final, she enters Wimbledon, which starts Monday, ranked No. 7 in the WTA Rankings.

She is also now up to a UTR Rating of 12.64, currently 12th on the rankings, after starting 2023 at 12.32.

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In Paris, her run to the championship match included victories over two Grand Slam champions, beating 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in the third round and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals.

Paolini eventually fell to now four-time French Open winner Iga Swiatek in the final.

The 28-year-old, who prior to this year had never advanced past the second round in 16 major appearances, is enjoying the experience of playing in the top tier of the sport.

“I love to play at this level, with these players – I played Rybakina who is world No. 4, I played Iga who is world No. 1,” Paolini said in her post-match press conference after the final. “I don’t know what the future will bring me, or what is my next dream, but I’m enjoying the moment, and it’s nice to discover it step to step.”

And not only did she make the singles final, but she also was runner-up in doubles. She and fellow Italian Sara Errani have formed a formidable duo this year, with titles at the WTA 1000 Rome and WTA 500 Linz events.

Making her first Grand Slam singles final is the culmination of a career-best season so far for Paolini.

Starting the year at world No. 29 – her career-high at the time – Paolini advanced into the fourth round of the Australian Open, with her three wins coming in straight sets. It was her first experience in the second week of a Slam.

A month later, she claimed the Dubai crown, a WTA 1000 event and now her biggest title. She ousted three higher-ranked players en route – Beatriz Haddad Maia, Maria Sakkari, and Sorana Cirstea.

That trophy pushed her into the Top 20 for the first time at No. 14. She also holds three WTA 125 titles – two in 2021 in Portoroz, Slovenia and Bol, Croatia with a third achieved last year in Florence, Italy.

Among her other top results are making the Cincinnati quarterfinals as a qualifier last year as well as taking home the runner-up trophy at the WTA 250 events in Monastir, Tunisia and Palermo, Italy.

While this season undoubtedly has been her breakout, she has been slowly and steadily climbing in the ranks since making her Top 100 debut in 2019 – step-by-step, just as she said in Paris.

And now that she’s in the Top 10, with a Grand Slam final to her name, it will be exciting to see just what comes next, including at Wimbledon, where Paolini will enter as a Top 10 seed for the first time at a major championship.

Incredibly, she's still seeking her first win at SW19. Paolini is 0-3 at the grass-court Grand Slam, but that's a streak that will surely be snapped this fortnight.

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UTR Rating data as of 6 p.m. ET, June 26, 2024.

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