14 Jul 2014

Brazil eyes World Team Championship defence


NEWS ARTICLE

Samantha Barijan/Joana Cortez (BRA)

Brazil will look to defend its title when the third annual Beach Tennis World Team Championship takes place on 17-20 July in Moscow - the final installment of the event's three-year-stay in Russia.

A record 24 nations will be involved in this year's event, with the defending champions looking for a repeat of its upset of Italy in last year’s final.

Brazil recently saw its top male player, Vinicius Font, end a lengthy period of Italian dominance by claiming the world No. 1 ranking (a spot that has since been reclaimed by Italian duo Alessandro Calbucci and Marco Garavini) and already boast the joint women’s No. 1s Joana Cortez and Samantha Barijan.

All three players will form part of the travelling Brazilian team with high hopes of retaining the title they took from inaugural winners Italy last year.

The Italians will also be bringing a strong squad in an attempt to win back the title, with a team that includes both current and past World and European champions. They will undoubtedly be considered favourites to dethrone the Brazilians.

Among the other nations looking to make a mark in Russia are Belarus, Cyprus and Estonia, who can each call upon the experience of former Davis and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas players.

Representing Belarus will be Olga Barabanschikova and former Roland Garros finalist Natalia Zvereva, Cyprus have the trio of Petros Baghdatis, Christopher Koutrouzas and Andria Tsaggaridou, while Estonia are calling upon Maret Ani.

Their experience of international team competition in Davis and Fed Cup will no doubt prove invaluable to their respective nations and teammates. Of course, Brazil has a former Fed Cup player themselves in Joana Cortez.

Looking to impress on home sand, the Russians will be hoping to improve on their third place finish in 2013 and ensure the trophy remains in Moscow for the first time.

2014 also welcomes six new nations - Belarus, China, Greece, Israel, Latvia and Thailand, who are all making their event debut this year. All will be looking to make an immediate impression and could pose a serious threat to the returning nations.

Fans are invited to get interactive on the ITF Beach Tennis social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter during the event.

TEAM NOMINATIONS (as of 11 July 2014)

Belarus 
Men: Ihar Lakhvich, Pavel Kotliarov 
Women: Natalia Zvereva, Olga Barabanschikova
Captain: Anastasiy Zvaryka

Belgium
Men: Joris Mees, Tom Beke 
Women: Annouck Meys, Linde Mues
Captain: Britt Van Der Aa

Brazil 
Men: Marcus Ferreira, Thales Santos, Vinicius Font 
Women: Joana Cortez, Lorena Melo, Samantha Barijan
Captain: Guilherme Prata

Bulgaria
Men: Emil Argirov, Rosen Nentchev 
Women: Diyana Miteva, Katerina Guenova
Captain: TBC

China
Men: Sun Hong, Zhu DingQiang 
Women: CiLi YongZong, Fang ChunXue
Captain: Peng XiaoLei

Cyprus
Men: Christopher Koutrouzas, Petros Baghdatis 
Women: Antria Tsangaridou, Marianna Tsakkistou
Captain: Philip Alkiviades

Estonia                                   
Men: Ainar Laube, Ott Ahonen 
Women: Anelle Luik, Maret Ani
Captain: Margus Ungerson

France
Men: Jeremy Pont, Raphael Jannel
Women: Marie-Eve Hoarau, Mathilde Hoarau
Captain: Raphael Jannel

Germany
Men: Alexander Bailer, Oliver Munz 
Women: Carina Blank, Dorothee Berreth
Captain: Gerd Hummel

Great Britain
Men: James McCabe, Richard Wheeler
Women: Gemma Sgariglia, Suzy Madge
Captain: Richard Wheeler

Greece 
Men: Giorgos Martinis, Vasilis Mavraganis 
Women: Aspasia Sotiriadou, Varvara Katakalidou
Captain: Anna-Aikaterini Chatzilouizou

Hungary
Men: Benedek Molnar, Mate Endrody
Women: Monika Erdelyi, Zsuzsanna Kovacs
Captain: Geza Kendik

Israel
Men: Danila Kourkoulin, Lior Brik
Women: Alona Pushkarevsky, Maayan Sela
Captain: Alexander Menukhin

Italy
Men: Alessandro Calbucci, Luca Cramarossa, Marco Garavini
Women: Eva D’Elia, Federica Bacchetta, Sofia Cimatti
Captain: Luca Bidolli

Japan 
Men: Hideki Iwasaka, Susumu Kawashima
Women: Kaori Yanase, Tomomi Takahashi
Captain:  Hideki Iwasaka

Latvia
Men: Andris Antonovos, Oskars Vaskis, Rolands Rembergs
Women: Anna Svaronka, Ilona Giberte, Inga Audrina
Captain: Andrejs Bukins

Lithuania
Men: Jurgis Rudgalvis, Luidzi Pakula, Skirmantas Macinskas 
Women: Evelina Abaraviciute, Gabriele Sinskaite
Captain: Donatas Pauliukonis

Portugal
Men: Filipe Rebelo, Pedro Correia 
Women: Ana Pereira, Susana Pereira
Captain: Dino Almeida

Russia
Men: Nikita Burmakin, Sergey Kuptsov, Vladislav Zaichenko
Women: Daria Churakova, Ekaterina Kirgizova, Gulnara Fattakhetdinova
Captain: Stanislav Zaichenko

San Marino
Men: Davide Pedini, Nicolo Bombini
Women: Alice Grandi, Camilla Zafferani
Captain: Stefano Pazzini

Spain
Men: Antonio Ramos, Saulo Tejada
Women: Maria Pilar Escandell, Maria Rosa Sitja
Captain: Jose Maria Piza

Switzerland
Men: Kevin Fischer, Yves Fornasier 
Women: Eveline Egger, Laura Galli
Captain: Yves Fornasier

Thailand
Men: Khunpol Issara, Oran Tungvongkij, Warut Korkiatthaworn 
Women: Bongkoch Bortisa, Rada Manataweewat
Captain: Chin Kampanatsanyakorn

Venezuela 
Men: Jorge Penalver, Pedro Penalver, Ramon Guedez 
Women: Lady Correa, Patricia Diaz
Captain: Pedro Penalver



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