by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Undoubtedly in his technical skills there is high quality but it is the manner in which he conducts himself when playing, he is the opposite of Japan’s Tomokazu Harimoto who welcomes every success by exercising his tonsils. There was not a flicker of emotion, just one of quiet concentration, as he beat Nathael Hamndoun (11-7, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8) and Omar Ammous (6-11, 11-8, 13-15, 11-4, 11-5).
“I felt confident before the matches today, I was prepared. In the first match at the crucial stages Nathael made mistakes, he missed at the important moments. Omar I’d played before, we played earlier this year at the Hungarian Junior and Cadet Open, I won four-two. My head was clear mentally I felt good.” Nicolas Burgos
Mentally in tune; for sure if table tennis is not to be his career he could well become some poker player! Actually when you talk to him there is a bright smile; on second thoughts at poker he’d be useless.
The win against Omar Ammous set the stage for Andres Martinez to be the hero of the hour; after having lost to Omar Ammous in his first encounter (11-8, 11-6, 11-6) he beat Nathael Hamdoun in five games to seal the victory (5-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7).
“In the last match I played much better than in the first; from the backhand I received service much better; overall I’m pleased with my performance.” Andres Martinez
The one further success for Tunisia was when Aboubaker Bourass beat Jorge Paredes in the third match of the fixture (11-7, 11-7, 4-11, 3-11, 11-5) to give his team a two-one lead.