They were considered the best in Africa and this they confirmed at the 2017 ITTF World Championships after they overcame their opponents to berth in the second round of the men’s singles.

Even when their continental counterparts – Nigeria’s Segun Toriola and Egypt’s trio of Ahmed Saleh, Mohammed El-Beiali and El-Sayed Lashin were shown the exit, Quadri and Assar are fighting for their lives against their Chilean and Italian opponents.

In order not to allow what happened to him in 2015 repeat itself again, Quadri ensured he wasted no time in dismissing Chile’s Gustavo Gomez 4-0.

Unlike Quadri, Assar was made to work harder for his victory against Italy’s RECH DALDOSSO Marco in an entertaining encounter.

From 3-0 down, Assar had to recover to edge out the Italian 4-3 to ascertain his place in the round of 64.

A satisfied Assar said: “It was a very surprising and difficult match because I played against my opponent last time at Kuwait Open and I defeated him easily 4-1. With the way he played it showed that he has improved tremendously and I was really surprise with the way he played. It was very tough match for me to come back from 3-0 down to win at 4-3. I think I prepared very well for this competition and I was also in top form lately so for me when the match was 3-1, I was determined not to allow all my efforts to waste.

“But I must commend my opponent for the match because in the first two games I was too soft with my receive and service and this gave him an edge but when I changed tactics, things began to work. I had made up mind to play very well in this competition and I am really determined to do that.”

Also, Nigeria’s Olufunke Oshonaike, Egypt’s duo of Dina Meshref and Yousry Helmy were shown the doors in the first round of the women’s singles.