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French Open preview: Coco Gauff meets Iga Swiatek in semi-final

Coco Gauff

In the other semi-final, Italian 12th seed Jasmine Paolini will face 17-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva.

Before this tournament, Paolini, 28, had only made it past the second round of a Slam on one occasion – the Australian Open earlier this year when she lost to Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya in the last 16.

But wins over Australian Daria Saville, American Hailey Baptiste, Canadian Bianca Andreescu and Russian Elina Avanesyan took Paolini into her first Slam quarter-final.

On Wednesday she defeated fourth seed Elena Rybakina from Kazakhstan, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, 6-2 4-6 6-4 to advance into the semi-finals.

With Jannik Sinner already through to the men’s final four, it is the first time an Italian man and woman have reached the semi-finals at the same Slam.

Neither Paolini nor Andreeva have played in a Slam final, with the teenager moving into the final four thanks to a come-from-behind 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 win to eliminate world number two Aryna Sabalenka on Wednesday.

Andreeva is set to move into the top 25 of the world rankings for the first time in what has been a fantastic 12 months for her.

She reached the last 16 at Wimbledon last summer and thrashed three-time Slam finalist Ons Jabeur on her way to the same stage at the Australian Open earlier this year.

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