Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 24, 2024

Jasmine Paolini – SF Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2024 Women's Singles Semifinal: J. PAOLINI/S. Cirstea 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: We’ll go straight into questions. Who would like to start?

Q. Can you talk through the match and why it got complicated in the second set, what you had to do to close it in two.

JASMINE PAOLINI: Yes, I was playing really well, yeah. I had a chance on 4-2, 40-15, but she was starting to play better, to hit winners. And me, maybe I stop a little bit move the legs (smiling).

Yeah, I’m happy all the match to stay there and to close it in two sets because was getting, like, tough and tougher.

Q. Did you feel as though the match was slipping away as she started to come back? What was the emotion as the scoreline got tighter?

JASMINE PAOLINI: I was thinking the last two matches I play against her, more or less was the same score. I won the first set, then the second set was a little bit complicated, then I won again the third set.

I was like, please, if I’m going to lose this set, start again in the third and to move and to play deep again, to push again. But yeah, I was trying to just stay in the present. Was tough.

Q. What does it mean for you to make a WTA 1000 final, beating a lot of quality players?

JASMINE PAOLINI: Yeah, I’m really happy. It’s something that if somebody would told me before this week, I wouldn’t believe maybe.

But yeah, now I’m in the final, so let’s enjoy. I’m enjoying the week. I hope to enjoy tomorrow the match, to play my best game.

Q. Are you going to treat yourself to a Margherita pizza tonight?

JASMINE PAOLINI: No, no, because tomorrow I have the final. I’m going to eat after the final I think.

Q. The comeback she staged yesterday, was that something on your mind, as well?

JASMINE PAOLINI: Because I played already with her two times, she’s playing really well when she’s little bit down in the score. She’s trying to hit more winners, to play faster. I was trying. C’mon, she cannot make it two times in a row (smiling).

No, I’m joking. I just say to myself to move the legs and try to keep hitting hard the ball, because if not she’s going to move me and she’s going to hit the winner first.

Q. Looking ahead, you might play Iga. I think you have played twice. They’ve been tough matches for you.

JASMINE PAOLINI: Yeah. I remember one time was I think 60K in Prague, something like that. I was like, Who is this player? She was hitting winners everywhere. Actually was also on clay court.

I mean, she’s a great player. She’s doing unbelievable. World No. 1 two or three years, four Grand Slams. She doesn’t need any presentation.

Yeah, also Anna, I want to say she’s an amazing player. She’s playing really well. I lost with her in Australian Open. It’s going to be tough. I would like to enjoy the final and try to play my best game.

Q. On the topic of Anna, she’s had a great season obviously.


Q. What is it about her game? A lot of people now are seeing her more. What is it about her game that you respect so much?

JASMINE PAOLINI: I think she’s moving really well and she’s playing really deep. When I played against her in Australian Open, she was also returning really deep and I couldn’t start the point well. She was really also consistent, not many mistakes.

If you want to beat her, I guess you have to play deep and to try to do not too many mistakes, but also to try to hit winners, to hit the ball, to push her away from the court because if not, she’s going to move you, yeah.

Q. On potentially facing Iga, you said she was very impressive back on the ITFs. What is it about her game that is the reason why she’s the No. 1 player for three years?

JASMINE PAOLINI: I think there are a lot of aspect. She’s mentally really strong. Physically she’s really strong. I think she has huge forehand with huge topspin. Also backhand, she can move the ball really well.

It’s not just one thing that she’s the No. 1. She’s kind of No. 1, let’s say, in all the aspect on the court, no? She’s so much consistent, as well. It’s going to be tough. She can defend really well. She can also take the court really fast. You can see her, how she moves on the court. It’s unbelievable.

Q. You had a massive crowd supporting you.

JASMINE PAOLINI: More Romanian (smiling).

Q. How does it feel to have that emotional sport behind you? How does it help you lift your game?

JASMINE PAOLINI: Yeah, it’s nice. It’s nice to have the stadium full of people because it gives more, like, energy on court. No matter who they are supporting, it’s nice to have the people watching, kids asking for pictures, photographs.

Yeah, I love when I have somebody that is cheering for me, they’re trying to give me energy, and I’m trying to take it from them, yeah.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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