by Simon Daish
Group A runners up Tunisia faced a tough semi-finals challenge taking on Algeria, who had qualified for the last four with their first place finish in Group B. But while there may have been a hint of expectancy to see Algeria (fourth seeds) prevail, it was actually the lower seeded Tunisia (sixth) who claimed that honour.
Tunisia started the day with a surprise win against the number three seeds Congo Brazzaville in the group stage, and they were set well on their way to another shock victory in their following encounter when Safa Saidani gave the Tunisian team the lead with a straight games triumph over Widad Nouari (ALG).
The tie was brought level through Lynda Loghraibi (ALG) who saw off Abir Haj Salah (TUN) 1-3, but Tunisia soon regained their advantage as Fadwa Garci came back from a game down to defeat Katia Kessaci (ALG) in the fourth end. Saidani chipped in with her second win of the match, beating Loghraibi 3-0 to seal Tunisia’s spot in the final.
“This is my first Senior Championships in Africa having attended the 2015 World Championships in China and I could see that the standard at senior level in the continent is much higher. We were familiar with the Algerians having played them several times at Arab level and continental tournaments, we were of the same level and I should say that it is not always easy to beat them” – Abir Haj Salah (Tunisia).
Egypt await the Tunisian side in the final, after they comfortably overcame South Africa in the other semi-finals encounter.