Jasmine Paolini joins an illustrious group of players to reach French Open and Wimbledon finals in the same season

WTA
Thursday, 11 July 2024 at 22:30
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Jasmine Paolini joins an illustrious group of players to reach the finals of the French Open and Wimbledon in the same season. Only four players have achieved this feat since 2000, with the last being Serena Williams in 2016.
The Italian defeated Donna Vekic (No. 37) to reach her second Grand Slam final just a month after finishing as runner-up at Roland Garros, where she lost to Iga Swiatek in the final. This Saturday, Paolini will seek her first Grand Slam title against Barbora Krejcikova in what has been a dream season for her.

Paolini's historic run: From clay to grass 

One of the most challenging times of the season for most players is the quick surface change between the French Open and Wimbledon. Both the WTA and ATP schedule only three weeks of grass-court tournaments before Wimbledon begins.
The difference in surfaces forces players to readjust their movements and strategies, making it difficult to replicate great results so quickly. A clear example is Iga Swiatek, who, as a clay-court specialist, struggles each year to adapt her heavy topspin forehand and play shorter points as required by the grass surface.
Not many female players manage deep runs in both tournaments so quickly. When it comes to reaching the finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, only four players have achieved this feat this century, and the latest to join this prestigious group is Jasmine Paolini, who joins three other legends of women's tennis.

Venus Williams

The tennis legend reached 16 Grand Slam finals in her career, although she 'only' won 7 of them. With titles and strong runs at Wimbledon early in her career, the American struggled to replicate her level on clay courts.
However, in 2002, she reached the French Open final for the first time but lost in straight sets to her sister Serena Williams, who avenged the US Open final from the previous year. A month later, Venus reached the Wimbledon final, but once again, her younger sister thwarted her chance to claim a 5th Grand Slam title at that point in her career.

Serena Williams

The 23-time Grand Slam champion reached consecutive finals at the French Open and Wimbledon for the first time in 2002, in one of the best seasons of her career. Not only that, but Serena won both titles, defeating her sister Venus (world No. 2) in the finals, both matches in straight sets.
It wasn't the only time as she repeated the feat twice more, though more than a decade later. In 2015, Serena had one of the best years of her career, winning the 2014 US Open and then the Australian Open at the beginning of 2015. Williams consecutively secured the French Open and Wimbledon titles, defeating Lucie Safarova and Garbiñe Muguruza, respectively.
Serena Williams at 2015 French Open.
Serena Williams at 2015 French Open.
Later in 2016, she once again reached the finals of both tournaments but only won the Wimbledon title after defeating Angelique Kerber. At the French Open, she finished as runner-up, losing to Spain's Muguruza.

Justine Henin

The last on the list is 7-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin, one of the best clay-court specialists in history, but who struggled to make deep runs at Wimbledon. She still managed to play two finals at SW19, including the 2001 final, her first Grand Slam final, where she lost to Venus Williams.
However, the season in which Henin definitively showed her best tennis on both surfaces was in 2006. She won her third French Open title against Svetlana Kuznetsova and shortly after reached the Wimbledon final but lost to France's Amelie Mauresmo.

Women's Players to make Roland Garros and Wimbledon Finals in Same Year Since 2000: 2002: Serena and Venus Williams 2006: Justine Henin 2015: Serena Williams 2016: Serena Williams 2024: JASMINE PAOLINI 📸 Jimmie48/WTA Tour

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