Safwat Seals Maiden Challenger Crown At Launceston

Mohamed Safwat wins in Launceston (photo: Tennis Australia)

LAUNCESTON, February 9, 2020

Following 24 titles on the ITF Pro Circuit, Mohamed Safwat has finally clinched his maiden crown on the ATP Challenger Tour at the Launceston International. The 29-year-old from Egypt edged past No. 2 seed Alex Bolt from Australia in Sunday’s singles final, winning 7-6(5), 6-1.

Safwat only dropped one set to beat Jason Kubler of Australia, Michail Pervolarakis from Greece, Briton Liam Broady and Kimmer Coppejans from Belgium en route to the title match. The No. 9 seed of the $54,160 hard-court event held at the Launceston Regional Tennis Centre sent down eight aces aces in the final and saved all three break points he faced to secure victory in one hour and 12 minutes.

“That first set was so critical to see who would win the match and unfortunately it wasn’t me today,” said Bolt, quoted by Tennis Australia. “He freed up a little bit after that and was able to really go after it.

“Mohamed has been playing great, he qualified for the Aussie Open, and he’s played really well this week.”

Safwat, who was born in Mansoura and lives in Cairo, has just become the second Egyptian winner on the ATP Challenger Tour, and the first since 1996, when Tamer El Sawy won in Bronx, New York, United States. He took away from Australia $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points. Ismail El Shafei was the only Egyptian player ranked inside the Top 100 in the 1970s and Safwat is well on the way to hit that milestone this season. He will reach a new career-high at World No. 130 on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the doubles final was a battle, with US-American Evan King and Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe eventually coming from behind to defeat Kimmer Coppejans and his partner Sergio Martos Gornes of Spain 3-6, 6-3, 10-8. The encounter lasted one hour and 22 minutes.