02 Jul 2017

A sense of revenge motivated Algeria's Katia Kessaci in the opening round of the Women's Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Africa Cup in Agadir, Morocco on Sunday 2nd July, a qualification tournament for the Women's World Cup to be held later in the year in Markham, Toronto.

Last year she had been beaten by Tunisia's Safa Saidani at both the ITTF African Championships and at the Arab Cup; in Agadir the tables were turned. Katia Kessaci, the no.9 seed, she beat Tunisia's Safa Saidani, the no.7 seed, in six games (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8).

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF Africa, Media Officer

It was clear from the beginning in the first round match of the Women’s Singles competition that Katia Kessaci was full of confidence..

She raced to a two-nil lead but parity was restored; Safa Saidani won the next to games to level matters.

Dictating the play, Katia Kessaci seized full control of the last two games to end matters with a jump of celebration.

“She has beaten me in our two previous meetings. She beat me last year in Agadir, Morocco as well as in Algiers during the Arab Championships. However, today I was determined to break her domination. I think my coach really helped me. I was also ready to beat her this time around.” Katia Kessaci

However, making the Algerian team has been much more difficult for Katia Kessaci than beating Safa Saidani. 

“I have never made any Algerian team when it comes to picking only two female players and have been finishing third in all national trials. I make the team most times but I have never been part of the team at a singles event. It is my first time and my first time of making it to the quarter-finals of an international event. I am so excited that I made my inclusion count in Morocco. I am looking forward to the quarter-finals match but I will cherish the victory against my Tunisian opponent for a very long time.” Katia Kessaci

Success for Katia Kessaci but it was short lived; at the quarter-final stage she was beaten by Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike (11-6, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8).

2017 ITTF-Africa Cup Katia Kessaci

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