Winners Open: Mayar Sherif creates history for Egypt by reaching final in Cluj-Napoca

Meanwhille, Andrea Petkovic turned back time by reaching her first WTA final in almost six years

by Abbey Johnson
Winners Open: Mayar Sherif creates history for Egypt by reaching final in Cluj-Napoca

Mayar Sherif reached the final of the Winners Open on Saturday. The Egyptian knocked out Mihaela Buzarnescu 7-6(1), 6-4 in an hour and 56 minutes. Sherif took an early lead in the first set but Buzarnescu fought back and even brought up a set point in the 12th game of the set.

However, Sherif saved it en route to dominating the tie-break that put her ahead in the match. In the second set, too, the 25-year-old raced away with the proceedings and built a 4-0 lead. However, as in the first, Buzarnescu fought back and won four games on the trot to level the set at four-all.

But Sherif wrested back the momentum by winning the last two games to wrap up the win. Sherif lost serve thrice in the match but also did well to convert all four break points she had on the Romanian’s serve. All throughout this week, Sherif’s yet to lose a set in the tournament.

In reaching the final, Sherif also became the first Egyptian woman to reach the final of a WTA tournament. On Monday, following the updating of the WTA ranking, she’ll also break new ground by becoming the first Egyptian since Ismail El Shafie to be ranked inside the top-100 of the singles ranking.

Winners Open: Andrea Petkovic's the last seed left in the draw

In the final, Sherif’ll play Andrea Petkovic. The second seed from Germany needed to win two matches on Saturday to book her spot in Sunday’s final.

Earlier, Petkovic wrapped up her semi-final win over Seone Mendez that’d been suspended on Friday while she was leading 6-7(6), 6-4, 5-1. Petkovic didn’t lose any game and completed the match after winning the final set 6-1.

The former world no. 9 was way more dominant in her semi-final against Aleksandra Krunic, going to complete it 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 17 minutes. The Winners Open final between Mayar Sherif and Andrea Petkovic will be the first meeting between the two.

Mayar Sherif Andrea Petkovic