Photo: Viden NatzevBeach Tennis - G3 - Varna, BUL - wc 27 May 2013
VARNA, BULGARIA: On Albena’s Pearl beach the second Bulgarian tournament on the ITF Beach Tennis Tour of 2013 took place with a G3 event following on from the G4 in Bojurishte over the course of the previous weekend.
In gorgeous weather conditions the opening matches of the tournament passed without springing any surprises and with the men’s fourth seeds the main focus, the top three seeded men’s pairs and all four women’s seeds each received a first round Bye. A quick-fire 61 60 win soon saw the Italian fourth seeds of Simone Innocente and Davide Pagella joining their fellow seeds in the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals saw all four men’s seeds safely progressing to the semifinal although the Bulgarians Emil Argirov and Viden Natzev almost upset the fourth seeds in very close contest that finished 67(4) 64 [10-5] in the seeds favour.
In the women’s event, however, the seeds had a torrid time. Number one seeds Ralica Arsova and Diyana Miteva fell 63 57 [10-3] to the Italians Gaia Baldini and Lisa Lolli and following them out of the competition were second and fourth seeded Bulgarian pairings of Kalina Bozhilova and Hristina Diankova and Galia Chorbadzieva and Teodora Kaneva respectively.
On the final day of play, a high level of beach tennis action was anticipated in the men’s event featuring all four seeds so it came as quite a surprise that both matches proved rather one-sided affairs with the top two seeds easing into a final showdown with just five games dropped between them.
The last surviving seeds from the women’s event, Katina Simeonova and Elena Uzunova of Bulgaria failed to reach the final, going down 62 62 to the impressive Baldini and Lolli; conquerors of the top seeds in the previous round. In the final the Italian duo would face Bulgarians Katerina Guenova and Virginia Trifonova who won through to the final with a 64 60 win.
In the men’s final, 2012 champion Alessandro Guadagnini retained his title won with Andrea Penza with new partner Alessandro Taccaliti. The number one seeds triumphed 62 64 over the Italian-Bulgarian partnership of Luca Fontana and Rosen Nenchev.
The women's final would ensure Bulgarian success with all four players hailing from the host nation. Having previously seen off the first and third seeded teams in succession, Baldini and Lolli would have gone into this final as most peoples favourites to take the title but this wasn’t to be as Guenova and Trifonova allowed the pair just the one game as they raced to a 61 60 win.
This does not represent the end of beach tennis action in Bulgaria as in just a few days a G2 event will be taking place on this very same beach! This event is likely to attract some top class entries battling it out for a share of the €5000 prize money on offer.