by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Omar Ammous, the no.7 seed, after beating Egypt’s Ziad Wael (11-9, 11-7, 11-5) experienced defeat at the hands of colleague Atef Ben Salah (11-9, 13-15, 15-13, 11-8); a player clearly in good form. In his opening contest of the day he had accounted for Algeria’s Islem Tifoura (11-6, 14-16, 11-7, 11-3).
Atef Ben Salah now meets Ziad Wael; Omar Ammous confronts Islem Tifoura in the contests that will determine the final group order.
Defeat for Omar Ammous, there was also defeat for Mootezz Saadaoui, the no.10 seed. Success in opposition to Algeria’s Abderrahmane Azzala in his initial contest (11-2, 11-3, 11-6); in his next outing, he was beaten by India’s Payas Jain (13-11, 13-11, 11-7).
Earlier Payas Jain had overcome Egypt’s Ahmed Elmahdy. Mootezz Saadaoui faces Ahmed Elmahdy in the concluding group stage contests; Payas Jain confronts Abderrahmane Azzala.
Two surprise defeats for seeded players, both at Tunisian expense; in the remaining nine groups, with two matches to be completed in each instance, the leading names all remained unbeaten.
Additional to Aboubaker Bourass, the no.6 seed, it was a successful day for the five preceding names. Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Rares Sipos remained unscathed as did Portugal’s José Pedro Francisco. Likewise it was a day without alarm for Italy’s John Oyebode.
Success for John Oyebode, it was the same for his colleague, Matteo Gualdi, the no.9 seed; a situation that also applied to Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Alamri, the no.8 seed and Ahmed Meshref, the no.11 seed.
Meanwhile, in the Cadet Boys’ Singles event, John Oyebode and Matteo Gualdi, the top two names on duty, completed their initial phase matches without blemish but there was a surprise defeat for Algeria’s Abdelbasset Chaichi, the no.3 seed.
He was beaten by Egypt’s Ahmed Elmahdy in his opening encounter (17-15, 11-6, 11-7); prior to overcoming Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Elshareif (11-1, 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3). Ahmed Elmahdy remains the one player in the group unbeaten, in his second contest, he overcame Tunisia’s Mohamed Amine Sta (12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8). In the concluding matches in the group Abdelbasset Chaichi meets Mohamed Amine Sta; Ahmed Elmahdy faces Khalid Elshareif.
In the remaining groups where players with current World rankings were involved; Tunisia’s Youssef Ben Attia and India’s Payas Jain ended the day unbeaten.
Players finishing in first and second places in each group in each of the Junior Boys’ Singles and Cadet Boys’ Singles events, advance to the main draw.
Photos: Mokhtar Hmima