Mohammad Safwat of Egypt. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News archive

Dubai: The Arab world’s top-ranked men’s player was pleased that he could give a fitting account of himself despite his 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 opening loss to Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open, on Monday.

Pitted against the 36-year-old crafty German, Egyptian Mohammad Safwat did well to take the first set with a crucial break in the 10th to go clear. Kohlschreiber played a calculated game with both exchanging early breaks before the veteran registered another in the seventh to draw level.

Safwat later admitted that he was not at his best midway through that second set as Kohlschreiber took total control to cruise into the second round. “Towards the middle of the second set, I just started to feel a little bit pain in my quadriceps. It was just on the serve, but the points were okay. But that was tough because I think I dropped my percentage on the first serve,” Safwat said.

“I had to play every point. He was pretty comfortable with that. It was not nice to do that, but it was good,” the 29-year-old added.

Safwat – Arab world’s highest ranked at No.132 – was pleased with his overall show on court. “I think in general, it was a good match. He’s also a tough opponent. He has more experience than me. He plays on such conditions more than I have done I think in my whole career,” Safwat said.

“There are positives and negatives from the match. I just have to look again on the match and see what I could have done better,” he added.