Jasmine Paolini outlasted Donna Vekic to win the longest women's semi-final in Wimbledon history, reaching her second grand slam final in just over a month.

Paolini, who was runner-up to Iga Swiatek at the French Open in June, was pushed all the way and had to come through a third-set tie-break, eventually triumphing 2-6 6-4 7-6 (10-8) on Centre Court.

The seventh seed will now face either Elena Rybakina or Barbora Krejcikova in Saturday's final.

An opening game featuring four deuces and a squandered break point for Vekic set the tone as she started confidently, and Paolini was unable to force a single break point in the opening set while conceding six.

The stakes were huge for unseeded Vekic, who was competing in her first grand slam semi-final having exited in the first round of 20 majors, but she found breaks in the fifth and seventh games to go ahead.

A second set featuring a number of long rallies and back-and-forth games saw Paolini fight her way back into the contest, smashing a forehand winner on set point before roaring to the vocal crowd.

Vekic broke early in the decider as she threatened to overpower Paolini, but an eye-catching forehand helped the Italian stave off another break and she clinched one of her own in the eighth game, a Vekic double fault helping her on the way.

The Croatian saved match point at 5-4 and then missed a potentially match-changing break point at 5-5, breaking down in tears and appearing to struggle physically at the change of ends.

Paolini missed another match point at 6-5, Vekic firing a forehand winner down the line to cap a breathtaking rally before closing out the game to ensure a tie-break was required.

The Italian was not about to waste a third opportunity to clinch the win, though, with Vekic sending a forehand wide to finally bring the curtain down on a historic two-hour, 51-minute battle.

"I was trying to think about what to do point by point because it was really difficult, you know there is no place better than here to fight for every ball and every point," Paolini said in her post-match interview.

"I really enjoy playing in front of you guys. For a tennis player this is the best place to play a match like this and thank you for cheering for me!"

Data Debrief: Double delight for Paolini

Paolini fell short of French Open glory when she could not match clay-court specialist Swiatek at Roland Garros last month, but she has joined an exclusive list by making the finals of both major tournaments in the same year.

This century, the only other women to achieve that feat are Justine Henin (2006), Venus Williams (2002) and Serena Williams (2002, 2015 and 2016).

She is also the first Italian woman in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon final, to make finals at any two slams, and to make finals on all three surfaces in a single WTA campaign.