Mayar Sherif continued her trailblazing run by becoming the first Egyptian player to reach a WTA final by advancing to the final of the 2021 Winners Open in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
Sherif defeated local favourite Mihaela Buzărnescu in straight sets 7-6, 6-4 in just under two hours to set up a final against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.
A tight game saw Sherif win 63 and 60 percent of her first and second serve points respectively, and convert all four break points against her opponent while saving three of the six she faced. Both players hit just one ace each and Sherif double-faulted twice as much as the Romanian, who made no such errors.
The 25-year-old Egyptian is yet to drop a set during the tournament which she began impressively by knocking out top seed Alize Cornet of France. During the quarterfinals, she also eliminated eighth seed Kristina Kucova of Slovakia who is also ranked one place above her.
Should Sherif prevail against Petkovic, the second seed, she would become the second Arab woman to win a WTA title after Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur achieved the feat in June this year. A win would also see Sherif break into the top 100 for the first time.
It would also cap off a breakthrough year in which she became the first Egyptian woman to win a main draw Grand Slam match when she emerged victorious in her first-round match against France’s Chloe Pacquet at the Australian Open in Melbourne in February.