Egypt's Mayar Sherif will aim to leave her mark at the French Open. Image Credit: Reuters

Paris: Mayar Sherif’s trailblazing run to the Madrid Open quarter-finals this month has given her the confidence to go on a similar quest at the French Open as the Egyptian eased past Madison Brengle in the opening round on Sunday.

The 27-year-old became the first woman from her country to win a WTA title when she triumphed in Parma last year and broke new ground again for her nation at the WTA 1000 level, beating Caroline Garcia and Elise Mertens to make the Madrid last eight.

Sherif was stopped by eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka in the Spanish capital but her efforts lifted her to a career-high ranking of number 43 before she slipped to her current position of 54 heading into Roland Garros.

“Definitely I’m more calm (after the Madrid Open). I’m more composed, I have more confidence about where I can get,” Sherif told reporters following her 6-3 6-1 win over American Brengle.

First round

“I feel the Madrid experience gave me a lot of mentality to see where I can get. Now passing the first round feels like, ‘OK, I got this. The next round, I also got this.’ “I don’t feel any more nervous first rounds and the second rounds as much as a couple of years ago.” In 2020, Sherif became the first Egyptian woman to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam at the French Open. She reached the second round on the Parisian clay last year, but a stress fracture in her foot forced her to pull out.

However, Sherif is optimistic about her chances this year.

“Obviously this is my favourite Grand Slam, so whenever I come here, I feel comfortable on the clay ... with the conditions here,” said Sherif, who meets Russian 24th seed Anastasia Potapova next.

“By the win today I’m very much looking forward to the next match. I’m more excited than anything else. I can’t wait to play the next one.”