Parma Ladies Open: Mayar Sherif bests Maria Sakkari; notches maiden title

Sherif stood tall as the pressure started telling on her higher-ranked opponent

by Abbey Johnson
Parma Ladies Open: Mayar Sherif bests Maria Sakkari; notches maiden title

Mayar Sherif won the 2022 Parma Ladies Open on Saturday after upsetting top seed Maria Sakkari in the final on Saturday. Earlier, both Sherif and Sakkari had to pull double duty after rain forced the abandonment of the semi-finals that were scheduled for Friday.

In the semi-finals, Sakkari defeated Danka Kovinic, 7-5, 6-2 in 90 minutes. Compared to Sakkari, Sherif had a tougher outing in the penultimate round against sixth seed Ana Bogdan. The Egyptian needed almost twice as much time (at two hours and 50 minutes) as Sakkari to complete the match and claim a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win for herself.

In the final, Sherif pipped Sakkari 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 36 minutes.

Parma Ladies Open: Mayar Sherif reigns in Italy

At the start of the match, Sakkari built an early lead for herself after securing early breaks of serve across both sets.

However, her opponent pegged her back decisively. Sakkari won 57% of her first-serve points while Sherif finished the match by winning 67% points off her first serves. When it came to winning second-serve points, both players struggled but Sherif fared quite poorly – winning merely three of 13 second-serve points.

Sakkari outhit Sherif both in terms of winners and unforced errors, finishing with 22 winners to the latter’s 10 and 22 unforced errors to the latter’s 11. However, the biggest reason contributing to Sherif’s win was the conversion of break points.

Sherif faced nine break points but saved five of these. She ended up converting six break points on Sakkari’s serve to keep herself ahead in the clash. Following the win, Sherif said, “It means a lot for my country.

It means a lot for the people back home, my family, all the hard work, all the mental struggles in the last weeks. I'm just thrilled and happy. This was never expected”. The Parma Ladies Open’s the first WTA trophy of Mayar Sherif’s career.

It’s also a first for her country as prior to her no other woman had come this far on the tour. Following this win, Sherif will re-enter the top-50 of the WTA rankings, in the 48th place, four removed from her previous career-high of no. 44 in the world. Photo Credit: Daniele Combi

Mayar Sherif Maria Sakkari