Wimbledon Semi-Final: A 13/10 tip to make the women's final

Paolini winning
Jasmine Paolini has discovered the winning habit

Jasmine Paolini is in the form of her life and our tennis tipster Gavin Mair thinks she is a good price to reach a second consecutive Grand Slam final...

  • Good times rolling

  • Vekic a potential deer in the headlights

  • 13/102.30 selection holds interest

If at the start of the year you had asked me to consider the pool of players I think would compete for either the French Open or Wimbledon titles I would not have mentioned Jasmine Paolini.

This time last year the Italian was nowhere near a ranking high enough to be seeded in a Grand Slam, yet she is only a match away from a second consecutive Grand Slam final appearance.

Opponent Donna Vekic has historically enjoyed the grass, but the Croatian has never been one to handle the pressure and this semi-final run is by far her best run at Wimbledon.

Paolini's meteoric rise

Paolini had never escaped the first round of Wimbledon before this year, although she had the misfortune of drawing two time champion Petra Kvitova on her 2022 and 2023 visits.

Perhaps there was a sign there of her potential on this surface as on each occasion she was able to push Kvitova to three sets. However, understandably expectations were low heading into this year's event.

The Italian was also coming off an emotional high of a valiant run in Paris where she was able to reach the final, only to run into the dominant Iga Swiatek.

However, Paolini has proved the doubters wrong. She dispatched my tournament pick Bianca Andreescu in a high quality third round encounter, before bettering that performance in an exceptional encounter with Madison Keys that unfortunately ended with the American retiring through injury.

Paolini was even priced as an outsider for her quarter-final match with Emma Navarro - who had enjoyed their match-up on other surfaces, but found herself crushed by the free swinging and in-form Italian.

It has been a joy to watch Paolini's rise and this incredible run of form. She plays attacking, fearless tennis and she has shown that she has a stomach for the important moments. The confidence she has shown in spotlight matches on centre courts and big occasions at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon justifies her favouritism.

Contrasting mindset with Vekic

In comparison I struggle to imagine Donna Vekic as somebody who will be able to perform at her best on this occasion.

Had this been at an earlier stage of the tournament and on a side court then perhaps I'd favour Vekic higher than I would today.

Unfortunately, she has never reached her potential and there are several examples of Vekic finding the pressure a bit much. In the recent final at Bad Homburg she faded badly with the victory in her sights, burning against Diana Shnaider.

Also in the previous round Vekic did not look comfortable when confronting the expectancy of defeating Lulu Sun, with the New Zealander finally running out of steam after an heroic run from the qualifying rounds.

Paolini a bet to repeat straight sets win

Both players are at their best when playing on the front foot. For Paolini I have little fear about her not being able to perform at her best, and the opposite rings true for Vekic.

With each likely to swing their punches it is best to side with the player that is riding a wave and will rise to the occasion. Paolini has twice defeated Donna Vekic in straight sets and I believe that is where the value is in this one.

Back Jasmine Paolini to win in straight sets at 13/102.30

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