File Photo: Mayar Sherif in action. Photo by Winners Open Cluj-Napoca
After making history by becoming the first Egyptian tennis player to ever win a main draw game at a Grand Slam in the Australian Open last year, Mayar Sherif made history again early on Monday by becoming the first Egyptian to reach the WTA singles championship final in Virginia, USA.
The 24-year-old Egyptian star joined the list of the world’s 100 best tennis players, claiming the 97th rank — the best ranking ever to be achieved by an Egyptian woman — by reaching the prestigious championship final game.
Sherif reached the final game of the WTA singles championship after beating Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania 7-6, 6-4 in the semifinals.
She then scored her biggest personal and national milestone yet by becoming the first player from her country to ever reach a WTA final, despite losing to Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-1, 6-1 in the final game early on Monday.
“I’ll keep my head up, learn from these losses, and keep going forward,” Sherif said on court, while accepting her finalist trophy. “I’ll take it in a positive way.”
“Every match, I played with all my heart, all my effort, all the mental fortitude that I could muster,” Sherif added in a post-match press. “I am happy with [the milestone I reached] in this tournament, and hopefully I’ll make everybody proud back home.”
Sherif started the week having won just one WTA-level match in the eight main draws she has contested since debuting in Prague last August.
She opened her Cluj-Napoca campaign with a stunning 6-2, 6-4 demolition of No.1 seed Alizé Cornet in the first round and has kept sailing through from there.
Sherif made her own debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games last week, however, she failed to make headway in the tournament, as she was eliminated from the first round.
She congratulated her fellow Egyptian athletes who claimed six medals for the country while participating in the Tokyo games.
Egypt’s achievements at Tokyo 2020:
(1 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze)
- Feryal Abdel-Aziz: Karate (women’s kumite +61 kg), gold medal
- Ahmed El-Gendy: Modern Pentathlon (men), silver medal
- Hedaya Malak: Taekwondo (women’s 67kg), bronze medal
- Seif Eissa: Taekwondo (men’s 80 kg), bronze medal
- Giana Farouk: Karate (women’s kumite 61kg), bronze medal
- Mohamed ‘Kesho’ El-Sayed: Greco-Roman wrestling (men’s 67kg), bronze medal
“This Olympics, we’re doing much better than in other years,” Sherif said.
“We’re getting more medals and playing with our hearts. I’m so proud of all of them. Being in a WTA final feels great, but it would also feel great to be in a final playing for gold.”
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