06 Sep 2013

Thrilling final in Morocco

News Article

By Nick Fishpool

Bouznika, MAR - wc 12 August 2013 - finalists

BOUZNIKA, MOROCCO: Mid-August saw the ITF Beach Tennis Tour arrive in North Africa for the first time when a Grade 4 tournament took place over the period 16-18 of the month.

Only a men’s doubles event was staged but the tournament attracted entries from 16 pairs of players from the host nation which saw Rachid Balkhi & Fahd Mezzour come from a set and a break down to win a thrilling final in 90 minutes.

With both teams progressing to the title match without loss of a set, something had to give and when Adil Medina & Reda Ziadi dropped just two games in the opening set and opened up a 2-0 second set lead it looked like it was all over for Balkhi & Mezzour.

With their title hopes disappearing along with the setting sun, Balkhi, who would have felt right at home out on court with his past experiences of competing with the Moroccan Beach Volleyball team; a sport played on a very similar size court, and Mezzour produced a stunning fight back.

First the duo claimed six of the next seven games contested to take the second set 63 and draw level with their opponents at one-set-all and set up a tense final set. The two teams pushed each other hard and with the time pushing 2030 and the sun disappearing over the horizon, Balkhi & Mezzour secured the title with a tight 64 final set win.