Photo: SmashOnTheBeachLuca Meliconi/Luca Cramarossa (ITA)
CERVIA,ITALY: Defending champions will be back in front of the 2,000-strong crowd to try to hold on to their World Champion title in both the men's and ladies' event in Cervia, Italy.
Last year's women's winner Sofia Cimatti will be first on centre court although this year she has paired up with Federica Bacchetta who won the title back in 2010. They will be followed by Alessandro Calbucci and Marco Garavini who will look to become the first pair to successfully hold on to the title in the men's event.
Day two of the Beach Tennis World Championship at Bagno Delfino brought more drama and incredible play as the players gave everything they had to get through to the next round.
The players were greeted by hundreds of fans, who would later become thousands, ready to witness what would turn out to be some of the most spectacular beach tennis yet.
The day kicked off with the quarterfinals of the women's doubles with a thrilling game on court two between Italians Gasparri with Sciolti and Corbara and her partner Ponti. Gasparri/Sciolti were the last team in the main event to come through qualifying and their play had impressed throughout.
Corbara/Ponti took a tight first set 75 and then suffered in the beginning of the second set by losing three games in a row. But they regrouped, winning the next six games to progress to the semifinal with a final score of 75 63.
Corbara/Ponti went on to win their semifinal match on centre court against Battistella/Zanaboni 76(5) 64 to reach the final where they will face last year’s doubles champion Cimatti and her new partner Bacchetta.
Cimatti/Bacchetta defeated Venezuelan Patricia Diaz and Italian Giulia Curzi 63 61 in the quarterfinal before winning their semifinal match against the French twins Mathilde and Marie-Eve Hoarau 64 64.
The men's doubles had some incredible matches that delighted the spectators.The highlight of the day was third seed and last year’s runners up Carli/Cappelletti playing against Luca Meliconi and Luca Cramarossa on centre court for the the first semifinal of the day.
The game attracted over 2,000 spectators, filling the stadium and could easily have been mistaken for the final. The game finished 75 63 in favour of Meliconi/Cramarossa with spectacular smashes from Cramarossa and some perfectly placed shots by Meliconi who proved they are in top form.
Meliconi seemed in good spirits; "I am really looking forward to tomorrow, it will be a good match " he said.
Meliconi/Cramarossa will have to be on top form tomorrow for the final against defending champions Calbucci and Garavini who have every intention to make history and be the first pair to successfully defend the title.
Calbucci/Garavini looked comfortable in their quarterfinal and semifinal match, winning both to the the tune of 63 62.
Tomorrow promises to be a memorable beach tennis event with the women's starting at 14.30 and the men’s at 17.00 Italian time. All the teams are in top form and full of belief that they can win. There will be many VIPs present tomorrow, including ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.
All the action can be seen live for free on the ITF website here. Play starts at 10.00am with the mixed semifinal.