Mirra Andreeva’s dream dashed as Jasmine Paolini reaches first grand slam final

Mirra Andreeva’s teenage dreams were shattered by Jasmine Paolini at the French Open.

Russian 17-year-old Andreeva, the youngest grand slam semi-finalist since Martina Hingis in 1997, froze on the big stage as Paolini, 28, reached her first major final.

It was a match with the biggest age gap between two women in a Roland Garros semi-final since Chris Evert, at 30, defeated 15-year-old Gabriela Sabatini in 1985.

Jasmine Paolini celebrates her victory
Jasmine Paolini has reached her first grand slam final (Thibault Camus/AP)

Paolini is also inexperienced at this level, though, having until this year never progressed past the second round at a grand slam.

But she held her nerve where Andreeva’s deserted her, the youngster squandering all six of the break points she created.

A 6-3 6-1 victory in an hour and 13 minutes saw Paolini become only the third Italian woman to reach the Paris final in the Open era, and will see her break into the top 10 for the first time in her career.

World number one Iga Swiatek awaits in the final, and the Pole may not lose too much sleep after watching this match.

Nevertheless, Paolini was determined to enjoy her moment in the Paris sunshine.

Mirra Andreeva walks across the court
Mirra Andreeva managed to win just four games of her semi-final (Aurelien Morissard/AP)

“I don’t know what to say, I’m so emotional,” she said.

“It was a tough match. She’s playing unbelievable, she’s 17 years old and so complete.

“I was nervous, I lost to her a month ago so I knew I had to do better.

“I was nervous in the first set but ball after ball I was getting relaxed and I’m really happy to win the match at the end.”

Andreeva admitted too many errors had cost her on the big points.

“Honestly, I could have played better, of course. I had a lot of mistakes. The ones that I usually don’t do. Yeah, that was a bit tough to accept,” she said.

“I tried to manage and to fight through it, but I guess today was not the day. And, of course, she played good.

“Yeah, I was struggling throughout the whole match, but it is what it is. It’s just what happened today. I can take a lot of positives from these two weeks.

“Still, I think for the next few days I will be a little bit disappointed, but I will still be watching the final, yeah.”