Emanuele Bianchedi and Gianluca Chirico (ITA)
POVOA DE VARZIM, PORTUGAL: The number one seeds in the men's doubles event Emanuele Bianchedi and Gianluca Chirico showed they justified the top seeding as they put in a series of commanding performances on their way to claiming the title.
In the women’s doubles event there was a big surprise where the unseeded Russian’s Ekaterina Kirgizova and Natalya Sizonenko won the title at this G3 event without the loss of a set.
The opening morning’s day action started with a men’s qualification event which saw player’s battle to earn a place in the 32-draw main event. The women’s main draw featured fourteen teams with the top four seeded teams being granted a Bye into the second round.
Three seeded teams progressed to the semifinals of the men’s event on day one with surprise package Diego Bollettinari and Andrea Penza making up the draw. The women’s event was left wide open at close of play as despite receiving first round Byes, all four seeded teams were eliminated in round two with only one set won between them!
Non-ranking mixed doubles and consolation events also saw first round action played out on a sunny afternoon with some wind blowing in from the ocean. To round off the day 72 players gathered for a dinner party, all appearing to have a great time, bringing together the beach tennis family.
The second day saw action from the main draw semifinals and finals, consolation draw and mixed doubles. The men’s main draw semis featured two Franco-Italian battles as the doubles teams of Jannel and Pont and Courtois and Maillot faced off against Bianchedi and Chirico and Bollettinari and Penza respectively.
The unseeded Italians of Bollettinari and Penza won through to the final with the loss of just three games but the top seeded Bianchedi and Chirico were forced to come from behind to earn a place in the final with a hard fought 46 75 [10-6] victory.
In the women’s semifinal Frederica Piedade & Catarina Pires, who had previously knocked out the number one seeds claimed a place in the final with a 76 63 win over Marta Del Sal and Laura Galli whilst the other semifinal saw Russian pairing Ekaterina Kirgizova and Natalya Sizonenko defeat Ines Cristovao and Joana Roda 61 75, a win that ended home hopes of an all-Portuguese final.
In the all-Italian men’s final the top seeds came out on top and claimed the title in straight sets, winning 64 62 and the women’s title went to the Russian team, winners in two straight sets 75 63.
There was no surprise in the mixed doubles with the top seeds Maraike Biglmaier and Antomi Ramos Viera showing first-class beach tennis skills to win the title against Ekaterina Kirgizova and Vladimir Lobov. The consolation event witnessed Flemming Pittoors and Tom Verdoodt win over a promising local doubles team from Povoa de Varzim in Pedro Maio & Jullien Sionnet.