Photo: Viden NatzevNicola Gambi and Alex Mingozzi
VARNA, BULGARIA: Bulgaria’s biggest tournament of the year ended in domination by the Azzurri as both the men’s and women’s finals were all-Italian affairs.
With a prize fund of €5000, the tournament attracted a lot of attention and was well attended. The top seeded pairs of Nicola Gambi and Alex Mingozzi emerged as the men’s champions without loss of a set in four rounds of action following a first round Bye. Their female counterparts, Sofia Cimatti and Silvia Zanuttini, almost replicated the men in not dropping a set but having taken the opening set of their final they then narrowly lost the second set 75 before completing victory in the decisive set.
Local support was centred mainly on the men’s eighth seeds Borislav Bonchev and Petar Kirilov and women’s pairs Katina Simeonova and Lazarina Stefanova, seeded third, and Ralica Arsova and Diyana Miteva, seeded fourth, although Bulgarians were well represented throughout both draws.
One half of the successful men’s title winning pair, Alex Mingozzi, said: "Albena is one of the best places for the development of beach tennis. The great sand and landscape reminded me a lot of the Italian homeland of beach tennis.
From next year, we [are] considering, collaboratively with Viden Natsev the president of the SC Beach Tennis Bulgaria, to organise a 10-day training camp for Italian players."
Nicola Gambi & Alex Mingozzi d. Andrea Penza & Paolo Tronci 62 62
Sofia Cimatti & Silvia Zanuttini d. Marta Del Sal & Sara Girolimetto 62 57 60