Egypt's Mayar Sherif makes a forehand return to Slovenia's Kaja Juvan during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. AP
Egyptian tennis star Mayar Sherif says she is aiming to become one of the top five players in the world, hailing the impact of the recent support of Liverpool star winger Mohamed Salah on her performance.
Last Tuesday, Sherif made history when she became the first Egyptian woman ever to win a game in the main draw of a Grand Slam after defeating France’s Chloe Paquet in the first round of the Australian Open.
“I gained precious experience. I should lose such important matches to win in the future. I am proud of myself and all that I have achieved, and I will have more control the next time I play one of these games and hopefully win,” Sherif told ON Time Sports TV channel on Monday.
“My plan is to be among the top five players in the world ranking, and the amount of support I have gotten from Egyptians recently is the best thing that has happened to me in the last period.”
“It isn’t such an easy target, but I have confidence in myself. I got the chance and I delivered my best, and the more time you spend the more experience you gain,” she added.
The 24-year-old Sherif was eliminated on Thursday from the second round of the Australian Open after a tight, drawn out, battle against her Slovenian opponent that lasted almost three hours.
The Egyptian tennis star lost to Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan (6-3, 6-7, 3-6) in the second round of the Australian Open despite claiming an early lead by winning the first set 6-3 and coming close to winning the second.
“I have been playing for two and a half years, including the year of the coronavirus pandemic, and I still have a lot of work to do, especially on some technical points and also in regards to training,” Mayar explained.
Amid the recent, huge, support by Egyptians and the media, Liverpool star winger Mohamed Salah had his own special impact on Mayar’s performance, according to her.
“Salah’s support is very important, and he motivates me with his humble personality. I ask him about what I want and I get the needed experience. He gives me a lot of advice, whether in sports or in personal life. I am grateful for his help,” Mayar said.
“Salah gave me a lot regarding how to think and also what he is doing on spiritual and mental levels. Also, he helped me concerning what to do before sleeping and reading in psychology. I followed his advice and it helped me a lot,” she concluded.
Sherif is currently ranked 131st in the world among women players — the best ranking ever to be achieved by an Egyptian woman.
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