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Mohamed Safwat gets Roland Garros main draw spot to become first Egyptian in 22 years to play a Grand Slam

Mohamed Safwat is the first Egyptian since 1996 to compete in a Grand Slam main draw.

Reem Abulleil 2018/05/27

History was made at Roland Garros on Sunday morning as Mohamed Safwat got into the tournament as a lucky loser to become the first Egyptian in 22 years to contest a Grand Slam main draw.

Safwat was drawn seventh in the lucky loser lot and was next in line after Alexandr Dolgopolov became the sixth player to withdraw from the French Open on Saturday.

Viktor Troicki, who was due to face No. 4 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the opening match on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday, made a last-minute withdrawal citing a lower back issue, which meant that Safwat was the seventh lucky loser to make it into the main draw.

Safwat had lost his qualifying third round to Argentina’s Guido Andreozzi.

The 27-year-old from Mansoura is the first Egyptian to play a Slam main draw since Tamer El Sawy competed at the French and US Opens in 1996.

He is just the fourth Egyptian to ever play in a Grand Slam singles main draw, alongside El Sawy, Ahmed El Mehelmy (1985 US Open), and Ismail El Shafei, who contested 26 majors between 1968 and 1980.

Roland Garros has been a happy hunting ground for Arabs recently. Last year, Ons Jabeur became the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam third round in singles.

* READ MORE on Safwat’s Grand Slam debut and how he fared against Dimitrov in Paris.

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