STUTTGART, GERMANY: Alex Mingozzi, 30, and Matteo Marighella, 32, didn’t let anybody surprise them as the tournament favourites beat Thales Santos and Marcus Ferreira of Brazil in the final match of the Porsche Beach Tennis Grand Prix 64 62.
When they came to Stuttgart for the first time in 2011, the Italian team, composed of the two most successful and best known players on beach tennis courts in the past ten years, lost the final against their fellow countrymen Paolo Tazzari and Marco Garavini 62 46 [8-10].
Alex Mingozzi, back on the courts after a five month break following surgery to his right shoulder, showed signs of his power and mental strength. Paired with the incredible touch of Matteo Marighella and his ability to read the game, the world’s number five and number two respectively, first won against Stefano Tinarelli and Vittorio Cenacchi 64 60 before beating Stefan Weber and Martin Schmidt of Austria in the quaterfinals 75 64.
An easy win (61 61) against San Marino’s Christian Berardi and, from Italy, Yuri Succi brought them back to the final, where they finally put the ITF tournament in Stuttgart on their long list of recent successes.
In the women’s event the spoken language in the final was German. Edith Tosner and Maraike Biglmaier won against Dorothee Berreth and Monika Keller 76 16 [10-6]. In the semifinals they had beaten the number two seeded Italian team of Silvia Zanuttini and Annalisa Prati 67 62 [10-7] whilst their opponents had seen off the challenge from the top seeded Fanny Rollet and Ludivine Bodar of France 61 75.
The qualifying event had taken place at the beach tennis venue of the TV Oeffingen club in Fellbach on Friday, 27 April before the main draw moved to the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart.
After the beach tennis finals on Sunday, the players and spectators had a chance to watch Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka battling for the title of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, which was again voted by the players as their favourite tournament on the WTA Tour. A goal, the beach tennis tournament in Stuttgart is eager to achieve in the future.
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