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Jasmine Paolini won the WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai

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Jasmine Paolini won the WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai

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The Italian tennis player Jasmine Paolini won the important WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai, beating the Russian Anna Kalinskaya in three sets in the final, with a score of 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. For Paolini, who is 28 years old, it is by far the best result of her career: the WTA 1000 is the second most important tournament category in tennis after the four Grand Slams. Before now Paolini had only won one tournament, in 2021 and decidedly less prestigious (it was a WTA 250 tournament, the fourth most important category). Paolini was only the fourth Italian ever to play in a WTA 1000 final: the last was Camila Giorgi in Montreal in 2021, who had also won the tournament.

Paolini is currently the best Italian tennis player on the women’s circuit: before the Dubai tournament she was number 26 in the women’s world ranking and with this result she will rise to 14th position, the highest for her since she entered the circuit. For months she has been in very good shape: in January at the Australian Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, she reached the round of 16, her best result in a tournament of that level (she had lost against Kalinskaya ). In 2023 she had reached the final in two WTA 250 tournaments, but she had lost on both occasions.

Before the tournament, Kalinskaya was the number 40 tennis player in the world and after this final she will become 24th. A final between her and Paolini was very unexpected: many of the best tennis players in the world were participating in the Dubai tournament, including all the top 4 in the world ranking. To reach the final, Kalinskaya had eliminated the world number 1, Polish Iga Swiatek, in the semifinals.

The final was very close and Paolini won it with a comeback: she had lost the first set and was then behind in both the second and third, but in both she managed to recover and win them. In the third set Kalinskaya had reached serve for the matchas they say in tennis jargon, on a score of 5-4, that is, she would have won the tournament if she had managed to win the game in his turn at bat (i game are the parts into which the set, and to win one you need to score at least four points, as long as you have at least a two-point advantage over your opponent: whoever gets to 6 games first wins a set, but if you end up at 5-5 you have to get to 7). Paolini won that one game leaving the opponent scoreless and then also won the next two, winning the match and the title.

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– Read also: Minimal dictionary for following tennis commentary

For those who do not follow tennis regularly, it may not be immediate to understand the importance of Paolini’s victory: to get an idea you can think that Flavia Pennetta, one of the best Italian tennis players ever, who reached sixth position in the ranking, in career she won only one tournament in the same category (previously they were called WTA Premier and not WTA 1000). However, Pennetta also won a Grand Slam tournament, the four most important ever, the US Open in 2015. Jannik Sinner, the best Italian tennis player on the men’s circuit and currently third in the ranking, has won only one Masters 1000 tournament so far, the category men’s equivalent to the WTA 1000. However, he also won a Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open last January.

– Read also: The great obsession of the Slams

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