She has been beaten twice by Olympian Safa Saidani (TUN) but it was the heart for revenge that motivated Katia Kessaci (ALG) to cause the first major upset at the 2017 ITTF Africa Cup holding in Agadir, Morocco.

Without any doubt, it was clear from the beginning of the round of 16 match of the women’s singles that Safa Saidani was full of confidence that she would take her opponent to the cleaner.

Everything on record showed that the Tunisian was ahead of her Algerian counterpart. In terms of their head-to-head records with Safa Saidani having two wins while in tournament’s seeding, the Tunisian was rated seventh while the Algerian was ninth on the seeding list.

When the encounter began on the centre table, Safa Saidani could not believe what befell her as her opponent raced to a 2-0 (11-9, 11-9). But her experience restored parity for her as she won the next two games at 11-6, 11-7.
By dictating the momentum of the encounter, Katia Kessaci was in full control of the last two games and she completed the victory with 11-9, 11-8 to jump into celebration.

“She has always been defeating me in our two previous meetings. She defeated me last year in Agadir, Morocco as well as in Algiers during the Arab Championships. But today i was determined to break her domination over me. I think my coach really helped me a lot with a lot of pet talk during the match and i was also ready to beat her this time around,” she said.

However, making the four-man Algerian team was much more difficult for Katia Kessaci than beating Safa Saidani. “I have never made any Algerian when it comes to picking only two female players and have been finishing third in all national trials. I most times make the team but i have never been part of the team to singles event. This is my first time and my first time of making it to the quarterfinal of an international event. I am so excited that I made my inclusion count in Morocco. I am looking forward to the quarterfinal match but I will cherish the victory against my Tunisian opponent for a very long time.