by Simon Daish
Named as the top seeds for the event, the pairing of Côte d’Ivoire’s Grace Orphee Gbey and India’s Selena Selvakumar emerged victorious in their opening tie with Côte d’Ivoire ‘B’ by a 3-1 score-line.
Despite an early setback for Grace Orphee Gbey, who lost out to Tanoa Nzebo in straight games (11-3, 12-10, 11-6), the top seeded side responded well with Selena Selvakumar defeating Priscilla Loes (11-4, 11-6, 11-4) to draw the match level. Grace Orphee Gbey avenged her opening loss with a commanding display against Tanoa Nzebo (11-7, 11-4, 11-3), who also fell at the hands of Selena Selvakumar (11-1, 11-3, 11-4).
In the second round of play Grace Orphee Gbey handed her team the lead against Côte d’Ivoire ‘C’, beating Nguessan Martine Boka by three games to nil (11-7, 11-5, 11-2). Selena Selvakumar doubled the advantage with her victory over Ruth Michelle Kouadjo (11-2, 11-5, 11-3) prior to Grace Orphee Gbey’s second win against Nguessan Martine Boka (11-2, 11-4, 11-3).
Côte d’Ivoire ‘A’ also impressed with positive outcomes in its two opening contests; without dropping a game the second seeds accounted for Côte d’Ivoire ‘C’ but the team endured a slightly more difficult time against Côte d’Ivoire ‘B’ in the evening session of play.
Rebecca Houngue claimed a convincing win in the opening fixture against Tanoa Nzebo (11-6, 11-6, 11-1), however, teammate Christine Kamenan was pushed right down to the wire by Priscilla Loes (11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 10-12, 11-9). The victory for Côte d’Ivoire ‘A’ was secured by Rebecca Houngue after she saw off Tanoa Nzebo for the second time (11-9, 11-6, 12-10).