Jasmine Paolini on Her Polish Roots and First-Round Win at Warsaw

Jasmine Paolini WTA Poland Open Warsaw
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Jasmine Paolini advanced to the second round of the 2022 BNP Paribas Open by taking out Danka Kovinic 6-1 6-1. At her press conference, she was asked for a few words in Polish and to explain how her ancestry is connected to the country she’s playing in this week. “It won’t be easy, because I never speak Polish. I’m very happy to be here, it’s the first time I’m playing a tournament in Poland. My grandmother lives in Łódź, my mother was born here and came to Italy at the age of 20, 23 I think. The last time I was here was in November, but the time before was like fifteen years ago,” said the 26-year-old, who had a great Polish accent, but preferred talking about tennis-related topics in English.

The Italian had no issues dispatching Kovinic in just 63 minutes. She was much more solid than her opponent, but also upped the pace in the second set to nip any possible fightback in the bud. “I’m very happy about my performance, it was very solid. I like the conditions here, the ball is fast. I was in Palermo and it was completely different. I like to play here, as I said before. I played very solid. She made a little bit of mistakes, so the match for me was easier, it’s never easy. I was focused.”

From evenings in Palermo to playing at noon in Warsaw

Paolini is coming off a semifinal appearance at Palermo, her best result of the season. The Italian played all her matches there in the evening, basically at night. “It’s completely different, also the weather. There it was so humid, so hot. We had jet lag kinda, because one time I went to sleep at 2:30 in the night. I like it here, it’s much faster, the court and the balls. The balls take easier rotation. I couldn’t be happier about my performance, it was perfect today,” she said, asked whether playing in Warsaw at noon and with natural light was a big jump compared to the conditions she competed in at Palermo.

While usually known as more of a counter-puncher, Paolini added some nice pop to her game of late. She needed that against Kovinic. “I tried to hit the ball with a lot of rotation, because here when you hit [like that] the ball is jumping a lot. The plan was to be solid, because she hits very fast and very good, good serve. I think it worked very well.”

Heavy rain forced the tournament to suspend or cancel a lot of the matches, but Paolini managed to finish hers before the showers started. The Italian will now get a day of rest before facing Clara Burel in Round 2 on Thursday.

Main Photo credit: Michał Jędrzejewski / BNP PARIBAS Poland Open