Egypt’s Mayar Sherif made history on Thursday by becoming the first Egyptian to reach the quarterfinals of a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event after defeating Alexandra Eala of the Philippines in their Round of 16 match at the 2021 Winners Open in Cluj Napoca, Romania.
Sherif beat Eala in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 in just over one hour to achieve the milestone and book a last eight meeting against eighth seed Kristina Kucova of Slovakia.
The 25-year-old had scored an impressive win in the previous round by knocking out top seed Alize Cornet of France, also in straight sets, rebounding superbly after her first-round loss at the Olympics tennis tournament last month.
The world 119 will next play Kucova, ranked one place above her, with a potential semi-final meeting against either Kristyna Pliskova or local favourite Mihaela Buzărnescu.
Earlier this year, Sherif also became the first Egyptian woman to win a main draw Grand Slam match when she won her first-round match against France’s Chloe Pacquet at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The last Egyptian to win a singles match at a Grand Slam was Ismail El Shafei, who reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open in 1974.