Photo: SmashOnTheBeachLevan Nanava/Alexander Stakheev (RUS)
The last rounds of qualifying for the Beach Tennis World Championships brought the best play of the tournament so far with all teams fighting hard for a chance to qualify for the main event on Thursday. And even though the stakes were high, good sportsmanship and great play was evident on all courts.
The Italians picked up where they left off yesterday, eliminating all the international teams apart from the Russian duo of Levan Nanava and Alexander Stakheev. The second seeds put on another show in the men's doubles on court two and qualified for the main event, winning 36 64 108 against Italians Luigi Martini and Morris Sciolti.
The game featured some of the best play of the day and attracted a number of spectators as the two teams battled fiercely under the summer sun.
The all-Italian battle between Simone Babini and Fabiola Tarlazzi and Alessio Chiodoni and Marco Montanari on court four also drew attention and applause for the intensity in which both teams wanted the last qualifying spot. In the end Babini/Tarlazzi won 64 46 106 and were the last team to qualify for the main event.
In the women's doubles we said goodbye to the top two seeds - Russia's Irina Glimakova and her partner Anastasiya Moiseeva and Regina Livanova and Natalya Sizonenko as Italians proved too strong on home turf for either team to make an impression on Thursday.
That meant Alice Grande of San Marino is the only non-Italian woman to come through qualifying and reach the main event, after some fine play from her and her partner Veronica Casadei of Italy.
There was no rest to be had for the qualifying teams who had made it through, with the main event kicking off on Friday morning.