Fabio Colangelo and Mauro Simoncini (ITA) and Benjamin Ringlstetter and Nils Muschiol (GER)
BERN, SWITZERLAND: It was Germany vs Italy in both finals in Switzerland, where Nils Muschiol and Benjamin Ringlstetter, finalists for a third straight tournament in Bern, faced Fabio Colangelo and Mauro Simoncini with Dorothee Berreth and Monika Keller taking on Stephanie Meini and Rebecca Pizzi.
The men’s event featured entrants from 18 teams and saw the German third seeds claim their third Bern title in succession with a 62 75 win over opponents Colangelo and Simoncini, who were surprise, but deserved, finalists.
The unseeded duo from Italy knocked out seeded opposition in three consecutive rounds leading into the final, starting with an impressive 61 63 second round defeat of the tournament’s second seeds Alexander Bailer and Oliver Munz.
In contrast, Muschiol and Ringlstetter did not come up against seeded opposition until a semifinal encounter with Ivan Salvati and Stefano Tinarelli after the sixth seeded pair had despatched the top seeds in a three-set quarterfinal.
Four nations were represented in a seven-team women’s event played out, initially, in a round-robin format.
Top-seeded Berreth and Keller were placed into a three-team group containing two Swiss pairs with the other group featuring second seeded Swiss pair Laura Galli and Vera Molinari, another Swiss pair, a pair from Great Britain and eventual finalists Meini and Pizzi.
With three wins from three, including a close 75 64 win over Galli and Molinari, the Italians qualified from Group B and moved into the final to face tournament favourites Berreth and Keller whose path had not been so clear cut.
All three pairs in Group A finished the round-robin stage with one win apiece so final positions in the group came down to who had the higher win percentage from games played, after set win percentages were also a three-way tie, and this resulted in the top seeds progressing, narrowly, from Eveline and Fabienne Egger, champions in Bern in November 2013.
In keeping with all nine matches played during the round-robin stage, the match winners in the final were the pair winning the opening set.
Berreth and Keller seemingly eased through the first set, dropping just the one game, before facing a sterner test in the second as Meini and Pizzi fought, but ultimately failed, to force a first third set of the tournament and keep their title dreams alive as a tense second set eventually saw the Germans triumph 75 to take the title, their first together since July 2013.