Mayar Sherif has rolled through the Cluj-Napoca draw.

It’s been a week to remember for Mayar Sherif in Cluj-Napoca, and now the world No. 119 is just one win away from capping it off with a groundbreaking title.

Already owning the distinction as the first Egyptian woman to win a major main draw match thanks to her effort at this year’s Australian Open, Sherif is now the first player from her country to reach a WTA singles final.

On Saturday at the Winners Open, Sherif reached back to hit an ace when facing set point before taking a crucial opening tie-break over Mihaela Buzarnescu—then ensured her 4-0 lead in the second set didn’t end in complete collapse by breaking the home favorite at love to end the contest, 7-6 (1), 6-4.

“I’m so proud of where I came from, how hard it was to get where I am today being from Egypt,” she said on-court afterwards. “I could not imagine being here one day. It’s very emotional.

“It’s so nice to always do something first.”


Entering this week, Sherif’s one tour-level victory was the aforementioned breakthrough performance in Melbourne (d. Chloe Paquet). The 25-year-old began her tournament by stunning top seed Alizé Cornet in dominant fashion, a performance that ignited a run of eight sets played, eight sets won. Sherif's appearances in the quarterfinals and semifinals were also landmark results for her nation.

Sherif has the benefit of getting a final under her belt heading into Sunday’s showdown with No. 2 seed Andrea Petkovic after proving she could also thrive on the doubles court. The former Pepperdine standout finished runner-up alongside Katarzyna Piter.

Regardless of her result against Petkovic, Sherif is set to crack the Top 100 for the first time.