Mayar Sherif reacts to stunning Maria Sakkari in Parma final for tennis history



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Mayar Sherif reacts to stunning Maria Sakkari in Parma final for tennis history

Mayar Sherif stunned first-seeded Maria Sakkari in the Parma final and wrote tennis history by becoming the first-ever woman from Egypt to win a WTA title. Sherif, 26, upset seventh-ranked Sakkari 7-5 6-3 to lift her first WTA title.

Also, Sherif clinched her first top-10 win by beating Sakkari. "It means a lot for my country," Sherif said. "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."

Sherif clinched two wins on Saturday

Friday was reserved for semifinal matches in Parma. Due to rain, those matches were delayed for Saturday. In her first match on Saturday, Sherif defeated Ana Bogdan 6-4 3-6 6-4.

It was a big battle as the match ended after nearly two hours of action. Following a short rest, Sherif returned to the court to play Sakkari in the final. Even though Sherif was tired after her semifinal match, she found the strength to go out and beat Sakkari.

"I'm exhausted," Sherif said. "Today was a very tough day for me, many hours on court. I'm very happy that I pulled it off. I had to dig very deep. The first match was emotionally and mentally tough. There were so many key moments in the match, a lot of pressure.

But after I won that match it gave me a lot of confidence so I used that for the match right after." Sherif didn't really get off to a great start, but she was able to three times recover from a break in the first set.

After breaking Sherif in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead, Sakkari had a chance to serve out for the first set. Sherif responded by claiming back-to-back breaks and winning the next three games to steal the first set. After losing the first set, Sakkari started the second set with a 2-0 lead.

Again, Sherif responded as she broke Sakkari in the fourth and eighth games to overturn the deficit and complete a two-set win.