by Simon Daish
The opening day of the qualification tournament featured group stage and main draw action, and the Boys’ Singles competition has set up an eye-catching conclusion with players from four countries set to compete for a spot at the big event in Buenos Aires next year.
Nathael Hamdoun is one of the players through to the semi-finals, and the Tunisian competitor was in fine form throughout the day in front of his home supporters.
Placed in Group 3 Nathael Hamdoun picked up a comfortable opening win against Franck Kouadio of Cote d’Ivoire (11-1, 11-5, 11-7), before the Tunisian contestant added straight game successes over Morocco’s Salim Karam (11-4, 11-7, 11-7) and Congo Brazzaville’s Regis Kiassi (11-6, 11-6, 13-11) to top the group.
Awaiting Nathael Hamdoun in the next round was the Group 1 runner-up Setra Rakotoarisoa of Madagascar, and again the home player went on to succeed (11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 11-13, 11-8) advancing through to the top four where he will meet Nigeria’s Azeez Solanke.
Algeria will also be represented in the battle for the top two after Abdelbasset Chaichi edged his way into the semi-finals.
Finishing in second position in Group 2 Abdelbasset Chaichi had to negotiate an encounter with Regis Kiassi of Congo Brazzaville, and in a topsy-turvy match the Algerian representative managed to edge through across seven games (12-10, 11-9, 10-12, 5-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10).
Abdelbasset Chaichi will face the Group 1 winner Youssef Abdel-Aziz of Egypt on Monday 17th April with a place in the top two up for grabs.