Tennis: Sherif becomes first Egyptian in WTA final, fired up by Olympics

Cairo-born, California-educated Sherif was also the first Egyptian woman to play at Roland Garros and advance past the first-round at the Australian Open.
Cairo-born, California-educated Sherif was also the first Egyptian woman to play at Roland Garros and advance past the first-round at the Australian Open.PHOTO: AFP

CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA (AFP) - Mayar Sherif on Saturday (Aug 7) became the first Egyptian woman to reach a WTA final when she beat home hope Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 at the Cluj clay court tournament.

The 25-year-old Sherif is 119th in the world and will meet Germany's Andrea Petkovic in the final after the second seed's 6-4, 6-2 win over Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic in the second semi-final.

The Cairo-born, California-educated Sherif was also the first Egyptian woman to play at Roland Garros and advance past the first-round at the Australian Open after turning professional in 2019 after graduating from Pepperdine University in the US.

It was a memorable day Egyptian sport.

Earlier at the Olympics in Tokyo, Feryal Abdelaziz had become the first Egyptian woman to win a gold medal in karate.

Ahmed Elgendy, meanwhile, captured silver in the men's modern pentathlon.

"This Olympics we're doing much better than other years," Sherif told wtatennis.com.

"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."

Former world number nine Petkovic pulled double duty on Saturday having earlier finished off her quarter-final against Australia's Seone Mendez 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-1.