BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualifying: South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria In Perfect Start
South Africa got their campaign at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup African Qualifying tournament off to a perfect start after going three rubbers without dropping a game.
The competition which is currently holding in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital, features 10 different countries who are jostling for two tickets – Men and Women – to represent Africa at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup event in Turkey later this year.
And to indicate their seriousness in this year’s edition of the African qualifying rounds, South Africa’s Women’s team defeated their opponents from Kenya without dropping a game en route to winning 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon.
Mariska Venter started the routing with a 6-0, 6-0 defeat of Phoebe Masika while Kgothatso Montjane recorded the same score in her match against Jane Ndenga before partnering with Venter to defeat the pair of Masika and Asiya Mohamed Sururu 6-0, 6-0 in the third rubber.
Morocco’s Men team also began their title defence with a perfect defeat of Rwanda in their opening round of matches.
Said Himam was the better player when he came up against Viator Dusabimana Viator in the first rubber, winning 6-0, 6-0. Lhaj Boukartacha who is the tournament’s second highest ranked player, also defeated Jean Luc Dusengimana 6-0, 6-0.
In the third rubber and final game, Himan and Boukartacha combined to effectively defeat the pair of Ndayishimiye Ernest and Emmanuel Hakizimana 6-2, 6-1.
Hosts Nigeria also got off to a flying start in the tournament with a statement win against Egypt as the country’s number one player, Alex Adewale, saw off Abd Elrahman 6-0, 6-1 before the country’s highest ranked player on the ITF, Williams Ukari got the better of Hassan Emad 6-4, 6-2.
The Nigerian pair of Adewale and Ukari partnered to beat Egypt in the third rubber, winning 6-2, 6-4 against Emad and Elrahman to avenge their African Para Games defeat at the hands of the Egyptians.
In other matches, the Morocco Women’s team ensured they started the competition on a resounding note in their match against Ghana.
Samira Benichi started the perfect record against Ghana when she won 6-3, 6-2 against Stacy Konadu Mensah while Paralympics-bound Najwa Awane continued with the win, as she defeated Bridget Nartey 6-0, 6-3 before the Moroccan pair partnered to see off their Ghanaian opposition 6-0, 6-2 in the final match.
Tanzania also proved that they are one of the tough teams at the competition, as they set up a 3-0 win against Egypt in the Women’s event and beat Kenya 2-1 in the Men’s event.
Lucy Shirima won 6-4, 6-0 against Sama Hadad, Rehema Selemani defeated Eman Hassan 6-1, 6-3 while the pair of Shirimma and Pendo Zengo saw off Hadad and Hassan 6-1, 6-0.
In the Men’s event, Rajab Abdallah Athman from Kenya won a fierce contest against Tanzania’s Albert John Churi which ended 6-3, 6-7 (8), 6-2.
But in the second rubber, Tanzanian redeemed themselves, albeit in another final set encounter which ended 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 before seeing off the game in third rubber with Voster Lengonela and Ramadhani defeating Athman and Timoi Itaken Kipelin 6-1, 6-2.
Matches at the five-day event resumes on Thursday, 8 February, 2024, inside the tennis section of the National Stadium, Abuja.
Nigeria Tennis Live will keep our readers updated on the outcome of matches as the round robin stage of the BNP Paribas event produces winners.