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This is the First Egyptian to Participate in a Grand Slam in 22 Years

Mohamed Safwat reignites the hopes of Egyptians after the Mohamed Salah fiasco by being the first Egyptian to play in a Grand Slam in 22 years.

Egyptian tennis player Mohamed Safwat took part in the Grand Slam at the French Open 2018 on Sunday as the first Egyptian to do so in 22 years. The last time an Egyptian played in the Grand Slam was at the 1996 US Open and it was Tamer El Sawy.

The Grand Slam - one the most important annual tennis tournaments - saw 27-year old Egyptian player challenge Bulgarian Wimbledon semi-finalist, Grigor Dimitrov, for the opening match.

After having lost in the qualifying round last week, Safwat found out about his lucky break an hour before Sunday's match. Replacing an injured Viktor Troicki, the Austrian-based tennis player rose to the challenge. 

While he may have been defeated by Dimitrov (losing 6–1, 6–4, 7–6), Safwat considers this opportunity to be a milestone in his career stating “I never thought I would have a chance to play against such a good player."

Safwat - who ranks 182 worldwide and regularly plays on the challenger tour - adds that "it was always my dream to play on centre court with such a crowd. A lot of things have happened to me in the last few months, and this is one of the biggest. I never ever thought I would lose in the final round of qualifying and then have a chance to compete in a tournament, in the main draw, in a Grand Slam against a good player in the centre court in Philippe Chatrier."

Main image taken from