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Rothesay International Eastbourne

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne 2025 dates TBC

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Jasmine Paolini punches the air as she reached her first Grand Slam final in Roland Garros

“I believe more in myself” – French Open runner-up Jasmine Paolini ready to kick-start grass court season in Eastbourne


2024 has been a year to remember so far world No.7 and top-ranked Italian Jasmine Paolini.

After a career-best fourth round at the Australian Open in January, the 28-year-old has gone on to win her first WTA 1000 title in Dubai and reached her first career Grand Slam singles final at Roland Garros.

Heading to the Rothesay International Eastbourne this week, Paolini is in the form of her life and was brimming with confidence as we caught up with her in the sunshine on the South Coast.

“It was unbelievable to be honest,” Paolini said reflecting on making the French Open final earlier this month. “I made the final in both doubles and singles and it was just unbelievable.

“I went to Paris and in the first few days, it wasn’t that easy you know, and I wasn’t playing so well and then match by match I just felt better and better.

“I was believing I could play well and then I won the first one, won the second, won the third and then I was in the final and it was just an unbelievable experience. I didn’t get the trophy, but it was a really good two weeks.”

Despite losing to now four-time champion Iga Swiatek in the final, Paolini has claimed some impressive scalps this season.

She’s already beaten 2022 Wimbledon champion and Eastbourne top seed Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur, Maria Sakkari, Leylah Fernandez and Beatriz Haddad Maia.


Looking to put together more top performances on the grass this week, Paolini puts her growth in form down to a development in mindset.

“I think I believe more in myself,” she said. “I played some good matches last year where I was fighting with top players and even if I didn’t get the win, I knew I was getting closer.

“Match by match I believed more in myself, and I was stepping on court saying ‘ok, today’s tough but I can play my match, I can maybe win, maybe not, but I’m there to give my 100%’. That’s been the main change.

“I’ve tried to improve different parts of my game as well, particularly on my serve which I think has helped me a lot.”

Following her epic run in Paris, Paolini took a couple of weeks away from competing to get herself ready for the grass court season and now she’s ready to go at the Rothesay International Eastbourne.

Having arrived in East Sussex last week, she’s taken the time to adapt to courts and the surface in Devonshire Park, hitting with a lot of the top players, including Britain’s Harriet Dart.

While grass hasn’t been her most successful surface in the past, Paolini is optimistic ahead of an exciting week in Eastbourne.

“I came Wednesday so I had some more time to adapt, so let’s see how it goes,” she said.

“Every year I come to play on grass, it’s different. There are some years I’ve played better and then some that I would just like to cry – honestly!

“I’m trying to enjoy it; I think it’s a surface you can enjoy a lot. It’s different tennis.

“The key for me is to move as best as possible but it’s not easy because it’s a bit more slippery and you have to get used to it.”

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