Photo: Maximilian HammVeronica Visani and Sofia Cimatti (ITA)
With the European Summer season approaching, Grade 1 beach tennis returns to Europe for the first time this year in June and starts with an event in Italy with Castiglione della Pescaia hosting for the very first time.
The seaside town in Grosseto hosts over the weekend of 7-8 June and, being the first European Grade 1 of 2014, is hopeful of attracting the world’s best players.
The top level action continues the following weekend, again in Italy, where the focus switches to Bibione. 2013 saw Calbucci and Garavini recover from a set down to win a very evenly contested final 67(6) 76(5) [10-5]. There was also drama in the women’s event where Daina and D’Elia were taken to three sets by the unseeded pairing of Violante Battistella and Camilla Ponti who had knocked out three seeded teams, including the top seeds in straight sets, to reach the final.
There is then a four week break before Riccione plays host, for the first time since staging the first European Championships back in 2008, to the final Grade 1 event before the Moscow based World Team Championship gets underway. This Italian event is sure to be used by many of the expected World Team Championship participants as a vital warm up event before making the trip to Russia.