Egyptian Mohamed Safwat says he feels he is getting closer to the Top 100 in the world rankings after winning his first ATP Challenger title this weekend, in an interview to The National. Safwat won his first ATP Challenger title in Launceston, Australia on Sunday - a first for an Egyptian since Tamer El Sawy’s wins in New York 24 years ago.
The victory will move him to No. 130 in the world rankings, a new career best, and Safwat says the win gives him the motivation to keep marching ahead. "I don’t know how many points I need to get to the top 100 but I think it’s close, you can see it’s 30 spots, it’s not like 100 spots you need to jump.
You feel you’re close and that will give me the motivation to keep fighting and to win more matches. This for me is a special thing. It’s more special because it comes with a career-high ranking, I’ll be 130 in the world.
It’s coming with a lot of things. It’s coming after great results at the Australian Open, and then a decent one after [in Burnie]. So it’s a lot of things happening in the last month. A lot of things are changing and this one feels very special and I probably can’t express how I feel and I can’t find the correct words to describe all this”.
Safwat says the win was all the more special since it came after a frustrating loss at the Australian Open. "I was very frustrated after the Australian Open, because I was a set and a double-break 4-0 up. I served for the set two times, had set points in the fourth.
It was frustration of course, but I had to let go. Because I wouldn’t be able to win the tournament if my mind is still stuck on the Australian Open and the match I lost there. I just had to look into what happened, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Like today [in the Launceston final], I was 7-6 up, 4-0, and the first thing that came to my mind was Barrere. I was 4-0 against Barrere and I lost. I was like, ‘I have to make sure that doesn’t happen today’ It’s a learning experience and that’s how I move on.
But it hurt, a loss like that hurts”. The Egyptian now head to Bengaluru, India for the ATP Challenger event there and says he is also hoping to get a wildcard for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships main draw.