Photo: Stuart BarracloughEBTC V - Saturday
BORGO MAGGIORE, SAN MARINO: Day one at the European Beach Tennis Championships V got off to a perfect start for the hosts San Marino as their top seeded men’s team, Christian Berardi and former Davis Cup player William Forcellini cruised into the last 16 with a 36 61 10-7 victory over the Belgians Robin D’Hoe and Jos Geerinck.
They were soon followed by their compatriots Nicolo Bombino and Matteo Boschetti who had a more comfortable match against the Portuguese team Dario Monteiro and Joel Peralta 61 61. The third Sammarinese team did not enjoy the same success as they faced the on-form Spanish team of Roman Dopico-Rodriguez and Antoni Ramos-Veira losing out 64 64.
On the women’s side the hosts served up the upset of the tournament so far as Alice Grandi and Camilla Zafferani fought their way back against the fifth seeds Carina Burk and Maraike Biglmaier from Germany. Trailing 61 51 they home crowd buoyed them to take the second set 76(5) before they delighted the crowds with a 10-5 win in the match tie break. They will now face the Czech Republic team of Eva Brozova and Jana Deylova for a place in the quarterfinals.
In the other half of the women’s draw the German’s sought revenge on the hosts as forth seeds Dorothee Berreth and Monika Keller saw off the challenge from Katia Casadei and Romina Gasperoni 63 63.
The Italian’s were looking as strong as ever with the number one and two seeded teams in the men’s and women’s draw all making it safely through to the next round losing just 3 games between them.
The British dream will have to wait until they host the event in 2013 as they fell victim to the strength of Marco Garavini and Paolo Tazzari 60 61 in the men’s.
Having won a tough match against the Russians Ekaterina Kirgizona and Natalia Sizonenko 64 67(6) 13-11, the Hungarian ladies Aniko Kovas and Zsuzsa Kovacs were no match for the Italians Simona Bonadonna Eva D’Elia 61 60.
The Russians were keen to build on their strong performance from in the World Team Championship earlier in the year as their men’s teams, seeded ninth and fourteenth, proceeded with ease into the last 16 losing just 5 games between them. In the ladies draw, their compatriots and third seeds Irina Bulykina and Gulnara Fattekhetdinova fought off a strong challenge from Belgians Eva Maes and Sindy Put 64 61.
The Bulgarian men Petar Kirilov and Rosen Nenchev kept the dream alive as they defeated Estonians Ott Ahonen and Ainar Laube 61 61 while their male compatriots lost out to the fourth seeded Austrian team of Martin Schmidt and Stefan Weber 62 61.
Their female compatriots Katina Simeonova and Lazarina Stefanova defeated the Austrians Sandra Schmidt and Rita Solly 62 60 while elsewhere in the draw the Spanish ladies were looking strong as Pilar Escandell and Rosa Sitja defeated the Swiss ladies 62 64.
The Portuguese men Pedro Correia and Filipe Rebelo also moved safely into the last 16 as their Polish opponents Krzysztof Wieczorek and Marcin Kowal were forced to retire through injury to Wieczorek at 62 4-3.