by Simon Daish
Thameur Mamia, Nadim Ben Mekki and Chouayb Lagha were the three players from Tunisia involved in the opening round of the Men’s Singles and all three managed to progress to the next stage of the event.
Only nine points were dropped by Mamia across his four games against Wilfreed Nguema Mvey (GAB) in their encounter (3-11, 1-11, 2-11, 3-11), while Ben Mekki also picked up a straight games win (11-4, 11-4, 11-5, 11-3) as Prince Kai-Tongi (SLE) struggled to find any form of grip on the match.
However, Lagha required more than four games to see off his last 64 opponent with the host nation’s Mohamed Krichel (MAR) putting up a fight.
Lagha made the better start of the two players and moved 0-2 ahead in the match, however, Krichel pulled himself back into the tie with a win in game three to lower the score difference to 1-2.
Suddenly the fixture was blown wide open with both rivals beginning to hit top form; alternating game wins followed for the players and with the scoreline showing 2-3 after the opening five ends, the ambition of qualifying was still very much alive for Krichel. But eventually Lagha found a slight advantage in his play and a win in game six saw the Tunisian advance to the next round (2-11, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11).