Tombim Abuja Open: Egypt’s Safwat Stops First Leg winner | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Tombim Abuja Open: Egypt’s Safwat Stops First Leg winner

Posted: Apr 29, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Egypt’s Mohamed Safwat advanced to the semi-final of the Second Leg of the Tombim Abuja Open on Thursday with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 win over Antal van Der Duim of the Netherlands. The match was a repeat of the first-leg final which van Der Duim won 7-5, 6-3. The encounter seems to be going the way of the Dutchman, who prior to the match has won a combine 14-straight sets in the Nigerian capital. He bagged his 15-consecutive set win with a 7-6(5)tie break as both players held on to their serves in the opening set. Safwat’s two previous matches went to the final set and the 26-year-old North African showed that he is not ready to come out vanquished as he broke Van der Duim in the sixth set of the second set which he eventually sealed with a diagonal forehand to end his opponent’s unblemished record. Safwat eventually brought the Dutchman down to earth by winning the final set which he took control of by breaking his opponent in the fourth game -an advantage he preserved till the end of the tie which lasted over two hours. “I went into the match to win. I never thought of anything like revenge,” he said, when asked if he is pleased to have triumphed at the second meeting with the European. Up next for Safwa,  who is fast winning the heart of the neutrals for his resilience, is top seed Serbian Aldin Setkic, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Russian Yan Sabanin, a surprise quarter-finalist at the expense of another Russian Evgeny Tyurnev, the eighth seed. Sixth-seeded American, Nicolas Meister came from a set down to beat Spaniard 2 seed, David Perez Sanz 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, while in the battle of African brothers, seventh seed, Karim-Mohamed Maamoun of Egypt, triumphed over Duncan Mugabe of Uganda 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to schedule  a semi-final match with Meister on Friday. The final of the doubles will hold on Friday afternoon and it will be preceded by the singles semifinals.