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PA Media/dpa


Jasmine Paolini kept the Italian flag flying at Wimbledon by thrashing Emma Navarro 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 6-2, 6-1 to become the first Italian woman to make the last four.

“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.

Vekic eclipses Sun

Donna Vekic ended the fairy tale Wimbledon run of qualifier Lulu Sun to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

New Zealand sensation Sun won the first set and looked on course to become only the second woman to come through qualifying and reach the last four.

But Vekic, the 28-year-old from Croatia, took a tight second set and then ran away with the third for a 5-7 6-4 6-1 victory.

“It was a really tough match, she played unbelievable, I feel like she really pushed me to my limits,” said an emotional Vekic.

“I felt like I was dying out there in the first two sets but I just kept going, hoping to have a chance and it came in the end.

“I have a full box of people there and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

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