by Simon Daish
This was Tunisia’s first appearance in the Women’s Team final and irrespective of the result, the achievement from the sixth seeds just to reach final will be considered as a success for the country.
Yet, unfortunately for the so-called underdogs Tunisia the dream of taking home the trophy was not to be as the top seeds Egypt stormed to the title.
Dina Meshref (EGY) made a slightly worrying start to the opener as Tunisian player Fadwa Garci took game one, but Meshref raised her performance and claimed the next three games in a row to give Egypt a 1-0 lead.
Next up was Yousra Helmy’s encounter against Safa Saidani (TUN), which ended in straight games in the Egyptian’s favour before Farah Abdel-Aziz (EGY) sealed the win for her country defeating Abir Haj Salah (TUN) without dropping a single end.
Yousra Helmy was not surprised to see Egypt secure the trophy, but that didn’t prevent the 21-year-old from showing her joy at the end result, “I think winning the title this year was a bit easier because of the absence of strong teams like Nigeria and the absence of some of the top players from Congo Brazzaville. But the Tunisian team were not pushovers because they are one of the better sides in the team event.”
“I feel very proud to be a part of this team again to retain the title because in all of the matches, I won all of my games and my teammates also played well. As a team, it was not easy for us because Nadeen El-Dawlatly was not part of the squad because of her knee surgery. We really missed her and I am sure she will be happy that we were able to retain the title despite her absence” – Yousra Helmy (Egypt).