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Mohamed Safwat becomes first Egyptian to play Grand Slam in 22 years

Mohamed Safwat Tennis Roland Garros

by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Egyptian player luckily became the first Egyptian to take part in a Grand Slam for the first time in 22 years as he played on day one of the French Open at Roland Garros.

The 27-year-old knew that he will be replacing Serbian star Viktor Troicki only one hour before the match after Troicki suffered a back injury that forced him to withdraw from the tournament opener against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

“I found out I would play at 10:00, like one hour before the match,” Safwat told BBC. “They told me, Do you know the news? They said I might go on court at 11:00. I said, okay.”

The last Egyptian who played a Grand Slam was Tamer El Sawy at the 1996 US Open. Since then, no Egyptian managed to reach what Safwat achieved on Sunday.

The Austria-based player however failed to defeat Wimbledon semi-finalists Dimitrov, losing 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-1) to the fourth seed on the famous Court Philippe Chatrier.

“I never thought I would have a chance to play against such a good player on Chatrier,” he added. “I had always seen it on television but never managed to have that experience, so it was enjoyable.”

Safwat explained that although not a lot of people in his home country have knowledge about tennis, he considered what happened on Sunday as a milestone in his career.

In addition to being a hardcore football fan, Abdelrahman is a communications enthusiast who works in marketing, advertising, content creation and PR.

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