Mayar Sherif became the first Egyptian woman to win a main draw match at a Grand Slam when beating France’s Chloe Paquet at the Australian Open on Tuesday, February 9.
The 24-year-old, who is currently ranked 131 in the world, beat 187th-ranked Paquet 7-5 7-5 in Melbourne.
A slice of history at #AO2021!
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 9, 2021
“It means a lot because finally, this is a barrier that I had to pass, a mental barrier,” said Sherif, who has been buoyed in the past by support from fellow Egyptian Mo Salah.
Sherif will next face Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan, who won through after the withdrawal of Great Britain’s 13th seed Johanna Konta due to injury.
Both the Egyptian and Paquet had won through to the main tournament at the qualifying event, which was held in Dubai – due to the global Covid-19 pandemic – last month.
“Honestly, it was not very easy to start,” said Sherif. “My second Grand Slam main draw, my first on a hard court, and the conditions are not easy.
“It was very, very tough to adapt to, especially to adapt my game. It took a while. Courts are faster, the heat, everything happens so fast, it’s very tough to control the ball.