Tennis ace

Inas Mazhar , Tuesday 5 Apr 2022

Egypt’s Mayar Sherif clinched her second WTA 125 title at the AnyTech365 Andalucía Open, reports Inas Mazhar


The rising Egyptian female tennis player Mayar Sherif won the AnyTech365 Andalucía Open with an impressive 7-6 (1), 6-4 victory over Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch in an epic that lasted two hours and eight minutes in Marbella.

The 25-year-old third seed thus became the first Egyptian woman to reach a WTA Tour singles and doubles final, in Cluj-Napoca in August last year, and was also the Karlsruhe 125 champion in September.

The 180 cm tall Sherif reached a career high of 61 in the singles WTA world rankings and 112 in doubles. She has won two WTA 125 singles titles along with nine singles titles and six doubles titles on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit, collecting $667,399 in prize money.

According to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), Sherif had been struggling for form on hard courts prior to this competition and went into this tournament with a meagre 1-8 record in 2022. However, she managed to sweep through the draw of her preferred clay without dropping a set. She has also scored her first two top 100 wins of the season over No 8 seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 6-2 in the quarter-finals, and over No 1 seed Danka Kovinic 7-5, 7-6(4) in the semi-finals.

Following her triumph, the right-handed Sherif told the WTA website that she had been working hard since the beginning of the season. “It didn’t show result-wise, but I knew I was improving, and it came out today and the whole week.

“I haven’t been feeling very confident on the court the past few months, even though I was feeling very well training and feeling that I was improving. The results were not coming. I just feel very proud of myself that I didn’t get so down with the bad results at the start of the season. If you keep putting the hard work in, the results will come,” she revealed to the WTA.

The two-handed backhand player Sherif finished a tight first set strongly. Serving at 5-6, a fine dropshot sealed a five-deuce hold to force a tiebreak, which Sherif dominated with three clean forehand winners.

It was a tough second set when both players leveled at 3-3, however, Sherif managed to snatch the second set and match thanks to her strong forehand winners.

“Honestly, I’ve been doing well the last few months improvement-wise,” she said. “I feel like I’m doing a good job and improving on hard courts. The results will come.”

Sherif is a 2018 graduate from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, with a bachelor of science in sports medicine. She was part of the university’s tennis team and was an All-American in both 2017 and 2018, and the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2018. She made the semi-finals of the 2018 NCAA singles tournament and ended her senior season ranked 11th in the nation in singles.

The Egyptian made her debut at the WTA Tour singles at the 2020 Prague Open. She was the first Egyptian female player in a main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, at the 2020 French Open, and made history again at the 2021 Australian Open, becoming the first woman from her nation to win a Grand Slam main-draw match.

Sherif also became the first Egyptian female to qualify for an Olympics, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, after winning the African championships

* A version of this article appears in print in the 7 April, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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