Photo: Hector SanjenisVini Font (BRA) and Alex Mingozzi (ITA)
FORT MYERS, USA: In the Florida sunshine, second seeds Vini Font and Alex Mingozzi claimed the men’s title with a close three set win over fourth seeded Brazilians Marcos Ferreira and Thales Santos who had been hoping to add to their triumphs in the year’s opening two tournaments.
“It was a huge achievement with a win at this final, but we´ve deserved a lot.” Font commented. “The Brazilian boys of Santos [Marcos Ferreira and Thales Santos] are growing up so fast, they deserved this victory also, they´ve played better at times in each set, but we won in the details and getting the title here is very important for us.”
This year’s event saw the men’s draw double in size as 32 pairs battled it out to be crowned champions and collect valuable ranking points from this Grade One tournament.
Both finalists had progressed steadily through the draw with Ferreira and Santos only dropping one set, in their semifinal defeat of the top seeds, whilst Font and Mingozzi came through four rounds without loss of a set to better their semifinal finish of 2013 and reach the final.
The men’s event had seen all eight seeded pairs win through the opening two rounds to reach the quarterfinals just as all four seeded women’s pairs had won through to the semifinals.
With still no upsets in the men’s event the top four took their places in the semifinals and it was here that both the number one seeds made an exit, Cappelletti and Carli in three sets and Buuts and Muniz in straight sets.
Both finals were played out over three sets, keeping the crowd entertained throughout. In the women’s final the second seeded Hoarau sisters, Marie Eve and Mathide, recovered from the loss of the opening set to earn a 36 61 64 win whilst a 64 36 75 win in the men’s final saw Font continue to draw ever closer to claiming the number one ranking.
“With this win I´ll get the number one [ranking], achieve my goal, that is fantastic,” said the Brazilian who is due to ascend to the top spot mid-June before adding, “and the win is pretty good for Mingozzi [as] that will rise his ranking right up with me. Very good news.”
Grade one beach tennis action will be returning to the US towards the end of August when New York hosts the opening tournament in a triangular series of Grade One’s which also takes in Bermuda and, for the first time on the ITF Beach Tennis Tour, Puerto Rico.