15 Feb 2018

Morocco secures early wins at Africa Qualification

News Article

Photo: Suzie Dyrbus, ITFNajwa Awane (MAR)

Morocco’s men’s and women’s teams both secured early round-robin wins on Thursday’s first of four days of competition at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup Africa Qualification in Nairobi, Kenya.

Meanwhile, Ghana earned a thrilling 2-1 victory over Mauritius after a match tie-break in the deciding doubles rubber.

Seven men’s teams and five women’s teams from seven different countries are contesting the second regional qualifier for the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup. One men’s team and one women’s team will end this week’s event having earned qualification for the BNP Paribas World Team Cup finals in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on 28 May to 3 June.

With the seven men’s teams divided into two round-robin pools, Mauritius made a winning start to its Pool 2 tie against Ghana as Nitesh Monine beat Abdulahi Samadu 62 64. Francis Boateng forced the tie to the doubles rubber after overcoming Sanjeev Annauth 76(9) 61 and Boaten and Samadu clinched a tense 64 36 (10-6) victory to complete Ghana’s 2-1 triumph.

All three rubbers were hotly contested in the other Pool 2 tie between Egypt and host nation Kenya but Egypt secured the overall victory after the two singles rubbers as Tarek Abbas Gharib Zahry defeated Peter Munuve 75 63 and Mohamed Sobhy Ragad Abdelhafez overcame Collins Omondi 76(3) 60. The tie ended 2-1 after Munuve and Omondi won the doubles.

Morocco won both the men’s and women’s events at the 2016 African Qualification and Morocco’s men eased to a 3-0 victory in their Pool 1 tie against Tanzania, last year’s winner and this year’s top see.

Said Himam led the way for Morocco, defeating Voster Lengonela 62 62. Lhaj Boukartacha gave Morocco an unassailable 2-0 lead after his 63 64 win over Novatus Temba and Himama and Boukartacha took the doubles 64 62.

Morocco and Tanzania will now both play Rwanda over the next two days.

Samira Benichi and Najwa Awane were much the stronger as Morocco took on Egypt and wrapped up a 3-0 victory in Pool 2 of the women’s event.

Benichi dropped just one game to Magda Badrous and world No. 47 Awane, the highest ranked player in the women’s event, defeated Emman Hassan Mahmoud 60 60 to put the tie beyond Egypt’s reach. Benichi and Awane put the seal on a dominant performance when dropping just two games in the doubles rubber.

While Egypt and Morocco will now both play Tanzania’s women’s team, Pool 1 in the women’s event will be decided in a one-off contest between Ghana and Kenya.