7 - 10 May 2011
Men's doubles: Alessandro Calbucci / Luca Meliconi (ITA)
Women's doubles: Simona Briganti / Laura Olivieri (ITA)
Italy, Brazil, France, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Belarus, Hungary, Russia, Slovenia and Bulgaria.
The on-court action was as hot as the Rome weather as players from sixteen nations battled it out for the most prestigious title on the Tour calendar. Three seeded pairs suffered instant elimination in their first matches, with the biggest shock coming in the men’s event where the Brazilian No.4 seeds, Vinicius Font and Giulherme Pratam, bowed out in straight sets to the young Italian Wild Card entrants Fabrizio Avantaggiato and Luca Cramarossa.
A brief change in the weather conditions on quarterfinals day saw strong winds greet the players on court; a factor which may have contributed to the surprise three set exit of the world No.1 and top seeds, Matteo Marighella and Alex Mingozzi, at the hands of fellow Italians Marco Ludovici and Giulio Petrucci.
Much to the delight of the large supportive crowds gathered to watch the action unfold, the Championships surprise package of Avantaggiato and Cramarossa continued their fairy tale run as they again faced, and defeated, seeded opposition to ensure their places on the final day of competition.
The defending 2010 Women’s World Champions, Federica Bacchetta and Giulia Spazzoli, continued to look good for a second successive Championship with a close straight sets quarterfinal win as the top four seeded teams all safely made it through to the semis. One of the tournament’s big draws was lost, however, as eighteen time doubles Grand Slam champion Natalia Zvereva was eliminated, along with her partner and fellow former WTA pro Olga Barabanschikova, by the No.1 seeds Simona Briganti and Laura Olivieri, who lost just a single game and set a meeting with the defending champions in the semifinal.
On the final, and hottest, day of the Championships the crowds were treated to a feast of Beach Tennis action as the players thrilled the spectators with high quality play which saw dreams shattered and records set. The top two seeded women’s teams justified their positions as both won through to the final and in doing so the title hopes of the first non-Italian pair to ever contest a semifinal were brought to an end whilst the defending champions also relinquished their grip on the crown.
Rising Italian stars in the men’s game, Avantaggiato and Cramarossa, saw their amazing journey come to an end in the semifinals but not before they had taken the opening set off the No.2 seeds Alessandro Calbucci and Luca Meliconi, the first set the pairing had dropped in the Championships.
The battle of the top two pairings in the women’s final saw the top seeds, Briganti and Olivieri emerge victorious, taking the title with a 75 64 triumph, a win which also saw them elevated to new world No.1’s. In the men’s final sixth seeded Ludovici and Petrucci took on Calbucci and Meliconi. In a rather one-sided affair, the title went to Calbucci and Meliconi, who recorded a stunning 62 61 victory.