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Jasmine Paolini becomes first Italian women to reach Wimbledon semi-finals

Jasmine Paolini kept the Italian flag flying at Wimbledon by thrashing Emma Navarro 6-2 6-1 to reach the semi-finals.

Centre Court was still reeling from the defeat suffered by Italy's poster boy and world number one Jannik Sinner, at the hands of Daniil Medvedev, when Paolini entered the fray.

The 28-year-old seventh seed duly dispatched American Navarro to become the first Italian woman to make the last four in SW19.

"It's amazing to get the win on this special court and I'm so happy to be in the semi-final," she said.

"It's so special, a dream to be here in this position. I was watching finals on this court when I was a kid, it's strange to be here."

Before this year Paolini had never won a match on grass, or gone beyond the second round of a major tournament.

But she was a surprise runner-up at the French Open last month and has proved that run was no flash in the pan by standing on the brink of a second final in a matter of weeks.

Navarro has also been flying this fortnight having already accounted for Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff, and had beaten Paolini in their previous three meetings.

The New Yorker drew first blood, the breaking serve to lead 2-1 in the opening set.

But Paolini, visibly irritated at herself, hit straight back to embark on a run of six games in a row, wrapping up the opening set and holding at the start of the second.

Navarro stopped the bleeding in the next and then began unleashing her fearsome forehand to bring up a break point.

It was an encouraging game from Navarro, but Paolini wriggled out of it and from that point onwards the 19th seed did not get another sniff.

A statement victory was wrapped up in only 58 minutes and a semi-final against Donna Vekic, the world number 37, awaits.

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