GIZA, EGYPT: In Giza the second day of action proved much like the first as the key favourites in Europe/Africa Zone Group III continued their dominance.
Hosts Egypt once more delighted the crowd with a 3-0 win, this time against Namibia. Magy Aziz made a superb start in the opening singles rubber against Carita Moolman but lost out in a second set tiebreak to send the match into a decider. The 24-year-old Egyptian showed her greater experience in the final set, however, as she came through in over two hours 63 67(4) 61.
Mai El Kamash wrapped up the tie for the home nation in more convincing style as she played Lesedi Jacobs in the second rubber. Jacobs never looked likely to cause an upset at El Kamash won through 61 63 before she teamed with More Ishak in the doubles to complete the whitewash with a 64 62 victory.
Next up for Egypt will be another nation yet to have experienced a defeat this week, Lithuania. Facing Moldova on Tuesday they did not hang about as they won all their matches in straight sets. Joana Eidukonyte set the tone with a 62 60 triumph against Alina Soltanici in just over an hour before Lina Stanciute was equally as impressive scoring a 62 62 victry against Iulia Helbet.
Justina Mikulskyte and Akvile Parazinskaite, aged just 16 and 15-years-old respectively, came in to gain some invaluable experience in the doubles rubber and repaid the faith shown in them with a resounding 60 62 win against the more experienced pair of Soltanici and Melisa Martinov.
Tunisia finished the trend in Pool B of 3-0 victories when they defeated Cyprus. Nour Abbes and Ons Jabeur both repeated their fine wins from Monday beating Mara Argyriou and Ionna Nena Savva respectively.
Jabeur then paired with Mouna Jebri for the third rubber where they faced a much stiffer test from Argyriou and Maria Siopacha. The opening set was won at a canter by the Tunisian team 6-1 but their opponents demonstrated commendable spirit to level the match in the second. A tight third set was edged at the last by Jabeur and Jebri as they completed the job 61 46 75.
Pool A saw the favourites Morocco open their campaign against Kenya and showed little mercy for their lower ranked opponents. Fatima El Allami needed just 50 minutes to dismiss Michelle Onyancha without losing a game. Nadia Lalami repeated the feat in the second rubber against Caroline Odur, again completing the match in under an hour.
Bringing in Fatyha Berjane and Bahia Mouhtassine for the doubles they too were ruthless during a 61 60 victory over Odour and Veronica Nabwire Osogo. The form on show was ominous for the other nations as Morocco bid to make a swift return to Zone Group II.
Armenia currently sits atop Pool A after they backed up their opening day victory with a win against Malta. Anna Movsisyan and Ani Amiraghyan combined to give Armenia all their points in speedy fashion as they did not drop a set.
Movsisyan opened their account with a 63 61 success playing Elaine Genovese before Amiraghyan sealed victory against Roseann Dimech, 60 61. Malta had won the dead rubber in their opening tie against Ireland but were unable to do the same when all the singles players returned to the court to see a 61 61 victory for the Armenians in the doubles.
Morocco will face Ireland on Wednesday both looking to take up pole position in the race to the promotion play-offs while Kenya and Malta face each other with the two nations looking to score their first victory of the week.
Click the link below for more information about Europe/Africa Zone Group III, including individual results from each tie.
- Europe/Africa Zone Group III