CAIRO: Egyptian tennis player Mayar Sherif has made history by becoming the first Egyptian to qualify for the main draw in the French Open.
Egyptians took to social media to celebrate the player known as “Egypt’s Golden Star,” who became the first Egyptian woman to win a Grand Slam match.
The National Council for Women in Egypt also praised Sherif’s qualification. The body said it was an unprecedented achievement for Egyptian sport.
Sherif was also the first Egyptian tennis player to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games, after she beat Colombian Maria Osorio 6-4, 6-0 in the French Open, also known as Roland-Garros Series.
She also beat American tennis player Caty McNally 6-2, 6-4.
In statements to the Egyptian media, Sherif expressed her happiness with the achievement, adding that she was proud of the historical achievements made by Egyptian tennis.
Sherif said she is preparing for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by taking part in major tournaments.
The 24-year-old player won eight singles and six doubles titles in the International Tennis Federation World Women’s Tour.
She also won a gold medal at the 2019 African Games in Morocco, after defeating South African player Storm Simmons 2-0 in the final match. Ahead of the French Open 2020, Sherif also played in the Prague Open.
She studied at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine.
The Roland-Garros Facebook page celebrated her success with a picture captioned: “Making history. Mayar Sherif becomes the first woman representing Egypt to win a Grand Slam match!”
Egyptian football star Mohamed Salah also praised Sherif, tweeting: “You make history.”