by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
On Saturday 3rd September, in both events he emerged successful in his concluding group stage contests before securing victory in his opening round engagement.
Difference a day makes
Occupying the no.7 seeded position in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, he had been beaten by Egypt’s Abdelrahman Dendan (11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 15-13); in the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition, where he was the no.2 seed, he had suffered at the hands of Karim Zarad, like Abdelrahman Dendan from Egypt (11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9).
One day later, on the penultimate day of action, he accounted for Tunisia’s Yasser Khmakhen (11-4, 11-7, 11-8) to secure second place in his group (11-4, 11-7, 11-8); before, in the opening round, causing the host nation more main by overcoming Atef Ben Salah (4-11, 15-13, 8-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7).
Likewise in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event, he ended his group phase contests on a high note.
He overcame Moones Touila, also from Tunisia (11-3, 11-1, 11-3), before accounting for Salh Abodib from the Libyan Arab Republic by the very narrowest of margins in a full distance five games contest (3-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9).
Meanwhile, in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, Abdelrahman Dendan completed his group matches with success against Tunisia’s Yasser Khmakhen (11-4, 11-7, 11-8) and thus maintained his unblemished record.
It was the same for Karim Zarad, he beat Algeria’s Andjed Oustani (11-3, 11-5, 11-6) and thus secured first place in the group and, like Abdelrahman Dendan, a direct entry to the second round of proceedings.
Points ratio decides
A successful outcome for Nawaf Al-Malki, it was the same for the host nation’s Youssef Ben Attia, the no.10 seed in the Junior Boys’ Singles event but by a different route.
He had experienced defeat at the hands of colleague, Aboubaker Bourass in four games (12-10, 12-10, 4-11, 11-6) but had beaten Egypt’s Karim Zarad, by a similar margin to which he had experienced defeat (8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10).
However, somewhat surprisingly in the concluding match in the group, Aboubaker Bourass experienced four games defeat at the hands of Karim Zarad (1-11, 11-7, 11-7, 16-14).
Thus all three players were equal on both match ratio and games ratio; points ratio decided the outcome. The result was first place for Youssef Ben Attia (79:74), followed by Aboubaker Bourass (78:76) and Karim Zarad (74:81).
Players finishing in first and second places advanced to the main draw; thus there was no place in the second stage for Karim Zarad.
Problems for Aboubaker Bourass on the fourth day of play, there were also problems for the 15 year old Tunisian in the first stage of the Cadet Boys’ Singles event.
He experienced defeat at the hands of Egypt’s Omar Elsafty (11-6, 11-2, 11-8), before beating Khalil Sta, also from Tunisia (11-4, 11-7, 13-11). Omar Elsafty duly completed his group stage matches unbeaten by overcoming the Libya Arab Republic’s Abdelraheen Alsaqar in three games (11-4, 11-3, 11-5).
First places secured
Difficult times for Nawaf Al-Malki and for Youssef Ben Attia but for the other highly seed players, there were no such difficulties.
In the Junior Boys’ Singles event Germany’s Tobias Hippler topped his group, as did Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab, Bahrain’s Rashed Sanad and Portugal’s Vitor Amorim. Impressive performances, it was the same from Tunisia’s Omar Ammous, as it was Jordan’s Khaled Khader and the Egyptian duo of Ahmed Elborhamy and Mahmoud Helmy.
A successful day for Ahmed Elborhamy in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, it was the very same in the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition where, the top seed, he secured first place in his group. Similarly for Youssef Ben Attia it was first place in his Cadet Boys’ Singles group; thus direct entry to round two.
Joined forces for more success Youssef Ben Attia
Progress for Vitor Amorin and Tobias Hippler in the Junior Boys’ Singles event, it was the same when they joined forces in the Junior Boys’ Doubles competition; the top seeds, duly progressed unhindered to the quarter-final round.
It was the same for the next pairings in the order of merit. Khaled Khader and Rashed Sanad duly progressed safely to the round of the last eight as did Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Abdulaziz Mohd, alongside the Egyptian combination of Abdelrahman Dendan and Ahmed Elborhamy.
Play concludes in Hammamet on Sunday 4th September.