26 Jan 2018

Tour heads to South America

News Article

By Nick Fishpool

Michele Cappelletti (ITA)

Brazilian beach tennis makes its first appearance of the 2018 season this weekend with a $15,000 tournament in Santos and continues the following week in Fortaleza where a $10,000 tournament is scheduled.

Beach tennis returns to Santos for the first time since September 2016, while beach tennis comes to Brazil earlier than usual, having not featured on the 2017 calendar until the end of April. The event, along with a tournament in Aruba, will be the first this year to be staged outside of Europe.

Fans can expect to see familiar faces to those who took part in 2016, with world No. 3 and 2017 world champion Michele Cappelletti heading up the men’s entrants along with six other Top 10 ranked players. Also taking to the courts over 27-28 January in the men’s doubles event will be fellow winners from 2016 Alessandro Calbucci and Antomi Ramos Viera.

Leading the women’s charge in Santos is the 2017 Pan American champion Rafaella Miiller, who will partner former world No. 1 Maraike Biglmaier, who was a winner here two years ago. Just as in the men’s event, seven of the Top 10 ranked players are due to see action over the weekend including Patricia Diaz, who will play alongside Flaminia Daina and look to replicate their success the last time Santos was host to beach tennis.

Cappelletti and Biglmaier will be sticking around after the Santos tournament. Biglmaier and Miiller will continue their partnership whilst Cappelletti teams with Calbucci to head up the men’s entrants for the $10,000 event in Fortaleza over the opening weekend of February.

Fortaleza staged two tournaments in 2017, a non-prize money event in June and a $2,500 event in August. Flavia Muniz triumphed in both, first alongside Samantha Barijan and then Marilia Camara and all three are back this February. Also returning are the men’s winning partnerships from last year as Marcio Petrone and Rodrigo Ponte team up once again as do Adolfo Januario and Allan Oliveira.

This tournament is shaping up to be dominated by players from the home nation, but will still boast ten Top 20 ranked players in both events.

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