The N ° 1 of WTA Argentina Open live a dreamy 2021. After being the first woman from her country to play a Grand Slam -At Roland Garros 2020-, this year managed to be the first to win in the big four, at the Australian Open.
“It is never easy to move on a different level. I feel like I need my time to put up with it, see what my level is, what I need to improve and advance. But everything takes time, like every step one takes. It is not easy to play here as the seeded number 1, but I enter the field to play my game, with humility “Sherif, 25, tells Ambit in the corridors of the legendary Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
The Buenos Aires ATP became the WTA Argentina Open, a 125K category women’s tournament that gives women an elite place after 34 years of absence in the country. After the discharge from Nadia Podoroska, the African was the top favorite in the contest.
In addition to the milestones he surpassed at the Grand Slam, this season he lifted the WTA 125 Karlsruhe trophy and reached the 250 final in Cluj-Napoca. On January 4 it was ranked 128, and ten months later it reached 64, its best ranking.
Sherif is going through a curious 2021, since he played in all levels of tennis: he played ITF tournaments (the former Futures), the WTA circuit, the Grand Slams and the Billie Jean King Cup. Egypt in the Olympic Games from Such, a fact that, she confesses, makes her proud. “It was great, an amazing and totally different experience. I tried to enjoy everything, and it was a great honor to play for a medal, with the flag of my country on my shoulders. “, has a big smile.
But not everything was rosy in the career of the woman born in Cairo in 1996. At age 18, she emigrated to the United States in search of greater financial strength. There he entered Pepperdine University in Malibu, Florida, and earned a degree in Sports medicine. “I didn’t have enough support and it was the best option for me, I no longer had money to travel. Now I live in Spain, where my coach lives ”, remember from a distance.
From the age of 16 she has been trained by Justo González Martínez. Although today his life is spent in Elche, his career was forged in another Valencian city, Alicante, where the academy of former tennis player Juan Carlos Ferrero is located. This explains his command of Spanish, although he only uses it on special occasions and prefers to give interviews in English.
It is inevitable to associate Sherif with Ons Jabeur. Two weeks ago the Tunisian became the first tennis player in the Arab world, among women and men, to reach the World Top 10. She is also the first woman from these lands to win a WTA title -Birmingham 2021- and to access the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, in Australia 2020 and Wimbledon 2021.
The Egyptian recognizes that she works to be an inspiration in her land. “It is the idea that people in my country see me, especially tennis players and female athletes, and that they know that there are no limits”, he says, while describing that the sport of rackets is growing in the country of the Pyramids and that more and more people consume it.
“I am quite well known in Egypt, more than in any other country -Serie-. The people in my country are very proud of me, they support me a lot, and without them I would not have had the success that I had ”, he argues. However, Sherif is in a hypothetical second place: no one is more idolized in the African nation than Mohamed Salah, footballer from Liverpool, who helped her in her career, both as an example and to get financial support.
“He is a good friend. He is a very humble person, every time I needed him, he was there. I have asked him some things and he always moved fast “, expand. The striker is a kind of God among the pharaohs. His compatriot explains that Salah’s stardom reaches unsuspected levels.
Sherif chooses to detail it like this: Wise women are well known, but Salah is in another dimension. Soccer is very popular in my country and he is a great guy, everyone loves him. There is no one who cannot love him, he is incredible “.
Minutes before talking to this medium, the tennis player played with members of the Egyptian Embassy in Argentina who followed her debut at the Argentina Open (victory 6-4, 3-6, 7-6  about the Spanish Andrea Lázaro García) and with whom he had a dinner this Wednesday. “It’s nice to have people from my country giving me their support,” she is sincere.
It is not frequent to have Egyptians in vernacular sports venues, and perhaps it is not for them to come to Argentina either. Perhaps that is why they are surprised by the local culinary qualities. “I can eat meat anywhere, but not dulce de leche. It has a very exquisite flavor. I’m a very sweet person, ha ”, close. Perhaps the national delicacy is the true trophy that will be taken from Buenos Aires.
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Mayar Sherif, the lover of the dulce de leche that came from the Pyramids to the Argentina Open