22 Sep 2013

Local favourites overcome Italian challenge in Brazil

News Article

By Stuart Barraclough

Vinicius Font and Guilherme Prata (BRA)

PORTO SEGURO, BRAZIL. Guilherme Prata and Vinicius Font had strong support from the home crowd as they took on their Italian opponents Alex Mingozzi and Paolo Tronci in what turned out to be a captivating final at the Grade One event, the Brazil Open.

Taking an early 3-0 lead in the first set, the home favourites got off to a perfect start and with an animated crowd behind them, it was immediately obvious the Italians had a tough match on their hands.

Despite drawing level at 4-4, the visitors were unable to match the speed and power of the inspired Brazilians who took the first set 64 to roars of delight from the spectators. The Italians however were no strangers to the big stage.

Having survived a one set deficit against the newly crowned Pan American Champions in the semifinals, the Italians had no intention of letting the Brazilians walk away with the match and responded by taking a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Spurred on by the crowd, Vinicius Font and Guilherme Prata refused to let the match reach a third set and repeated the first set score line to show why they were the number one seeds and to take home the Brazil Open title 64 64.

In the ladies event, it was business as usual for the world number ones and Pan American Champions Joana Cortez and Samantha Barijan from Brazil as they defeated the promising new talent from Venezuela, Patricia Diaz, teamed with Brazilian Flavia Muniz.

Both opponents set out to revenge defeats against the top seeds earlier in the week at the Pan American Championships. There was however no way through as every smash was deftly sent back over the net by the favourites with Samantha Barijan in unstoppable form.