Egypt's Mayar Sherif plays a shot against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. AP
Egypt's tennis star Mayar Sherif says she dreams of winning the Grand Slam competition Roland Garros one day, and of becoming an icon like Liverpool's Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah who recently expressed his support of Sherif.
Sherif lost 2-1 on Tuesday in the first stage of Roland Garros to world number four Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic after a remarkable performance.
"My ranking is better and I will be among the best 150 players all over the world," Sherif, who was ranked 172 globally this month, told OnTime Sports TV channel late on Tuesday.
Sherif, 24, is the first-ever Egyptian female tennis player to feature in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament.
She won the first set 7-6 before losing the next two sets 6-2 and 6-4.
"I hope to become among the best 100 players in the world. This is the first step of my dream, but I have bigger dreams. Maybe I will win the Roland Garros title one day. All I need is more experience," she added.
Sherif gave a marvellous performance during her debut in her first Grand Slam, stunning fourth seeded Pliskova by winning the first set after holding serve before prevailing in a drawn-out tie breaker.
She showed both resilience and talent in the other two sets despite losing them, earning praise from her 28-year-old counterpart after the match.
Despite failing to proceed at the prestigious tournament in France, Sherif believes she still has a lot to deliver.
She said she is happy with the support countryman football star Mohamed Salah shared on Twitter, who has 13 million followers, when he tweeted about Sherif's success and commented with an applause emoji.
"I hope to become an icon like him," she added.
"I will do my best in the coming period to secure an achievement at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
"Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur is prominent, and her success motivated me a lot and gave me a boost to become what I am today," she concluded.
Sherif became the first Egyptian female tennis player to feature in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament after beating Giulia Gatto-Monticone in the final round of Roland Garros qualifying on Friday.
She defeated her Italian opponent 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 19 minutes to make history for her country.
On Wednesday, she became the first Egyptian female to win a Grand Slam match after overcoming Colombian teenager Maria Camila Osorio Serrano 6-4, 6-0 in the first round of the French Open qualifying.
Sherif defeated American Caty McNally in the second round, making headlines back home.
Sherif, who grew up in Cairo, is the second Arab to break into the top 200 of the world ranking, joining Jabeur.
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