Former world No. 16 Philipp Kohlschreiber spoke positively of rising Egyptian Mohamed Safwat after their first round clash at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Safwat, 29, is enjoying the best days of his tennis career as earlier this month he won his maiden Challenger title in Launceston and achieved a career-high ranking of No.
130 in the world. Back then, the 29-year-old beat Australian Alex Bolt in the Launceston final to become the first Egyptian to win a Challenger title since 1996. Safwat's efforts and good start to the season caught the eye of the Dubai organizers, who decided to award him a wildcard into this year's event.
Safwat, now ranked at No. 132 in the world, fell just short of claiming a shock win over Kohlschreiber as the German eight-time ATP champion won 4-6 6-4 6-0. "I think he played very good," Kohlschreiber told Reem Abulleil.
"He is a player with a high intensity of game. He's moving around very well. His forehand is a good weapon. He served also very well. He's a good guy, improved a lot. Unfortunately I think he injured himself a little bit."