Dubai: Belgium and Tunisia secured contrasting semi-final wins to seal their spot in the final of the 25th Al Nasr Leisureland (ANL) Tennis Cup.
Belgium eased their way past France 2-0, while Tunisia had to dig in deep before securing an identical 2-0 win over hosts the UAE ‘A’. Belgium meet Tunisia in the final of this longest-running annual teams’ competition that is organised under the aegis of Tennis Emirates with sponsorship from ANL.
Belgium — champions in 2016 and 1017 — had it easy against fellow Europeans France as Kenneth Cavwenbrgh toyed with teenager Elias Anwar for a 6-3, 1-6, 6-0 result, while Jonas Merckx came in later and dispatched Xavier Masson 6-0, 6-0 in quick time to earn a third run in the final.
“A third title is something we would love to have in our collection,” Belgian captain Dries Depla told Gulf News.
“We have a solid combination of players that we have kept adjusting as per the needs of the competition. We feel confident about our chances for a hat-trick,” he added.
Tunisia had their win served on a platter by the hosts as young Fahad Al Janahi fought his way back from a 1-4 deficit to lose the opener 7-5 against a tiring Mohammad Koubaa. That set proved to be the turning point as the 20-year-old Davis Cup player had no answer to the determined Koubaa.
“I think we’ve done well to be where we are and we deserve to be in the final. The final against Belgium is going to be a tough one, but we will be there fighting for the title,” Tunisian skipper Essam Jallali said.
“It’s going to be a well-contested final and we will be keeping our focus on making lesser mistakes as that is going to be the key factor in deciding the champion for 2019,” he added.
(Semi-finals) Tunisia bt UAE ‘A’ 2-0: Mohammad Koubaa bt Fahad Al Janahi 7-5, 6-0; Waleed Jallali bt Amirvala Madanchi 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-3. Belgium bt France 2-0: Kenneth Cavwenbrgh bt Elias Anwar 6-3, 1-6, 6-0; Jonas Merckx bt Xavier Masson 6-0, 6-0