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Vekic was going to throw in the towel just weeks ago, now she's in the Wimbledon semis

Donna Vekic to face Italy's Jasmine Paolini as the only unseeded player remaining

Croatia's Donna Vekic in action before winning her quarter final match against New Zealand's Lulu Sun (Reuters via Beat Media Group subscription)

By James Toney at Wimbledon

Wimbledon's outside courts were virtually washed out while under the No.1 Court roof, battered by biblical rain, Lulu Sun was going down too.

The Kiwi qualifier was brilliant in her previous win over Emma Raducanu and was hoping to become the first qualifier to reach the women's semi-finals since American Alexandra Stevenson in 1999.

The go-hard full throttle tactics that paid such spectacular dividends against Raducanu were initially back against Croatia's Donna Vekic but the world number 123 was finally beaten 5-7 6-4 6-1.

Vekic, who has 22-time Grand Slam doubles winner Pam Shriver in her coaching team, is the last unseeded player left in the women's draw. At the age of 28, this is her first Grand Slam semi-final with number seven seed, Italy's Jasmine Paolini, awaiting in the final four.

It's a win that shows the power of perseverance, just weeks after she considered walking away from the sport after a succession of injuries.

"There was a couple of times in my career that I didn't want to play tennis anymore," she said. "Most of you know that it was after my surgeries, but actually there was one recent one.

"It was the Thursday before Roland Garros this year that we had scheduled practice. I arrived at the club and just wanted to pull out. I wanted to go home, I wanted to take a longer break.

"I didn't have any energy, any motivation to keep practicing, keep pushing because I felt like the last couple months I've given everything for tennis, and I wasn't getting the results that I kind of expected. It's crazy how in tennis things can turn so fast.

"It was a tough match and it's not going to get easier. The first two sets were an incredibly high level, she was playing really well.

"I was struggling a little bit because I couldn't find a way to get through her but in the third set, I think I raised my level and managed to close it out.

"I'm just going to try to keep the same routines, try to recover the best I can, get ready for the match, and try not to think that it's semi-finals of Wimbledon.

"I'm going to enjoy being on Centre Court, it's the best court in the world."

Paolini had never won a match at Wimbledon before last week but she becomes the first Italian woman to make the semi-finals with a confident 6-2 6-1 win over American Emma Navarro in less than an hour.

"It's unbelievable, I'm not quite sure what to say about being in the semi-finals to be honest," she said.

"It's a dream to be in this position and to make history for Italian tennis, it's just very strange to be here.

"Nothing gets easier in the semi-finals and Donna is playing amazingly at the moment."