Photo: Stuart BarracloughTeam GB
For the first time in the tournament’s history, the European Beach Tennis Championships will return to the same venue in Brighton, England on 8-10 August.
A record 22 countries will descend on Brighton Beach’s Yellowave Centre this weekend with recently crowned World Champions and defending European Champions Alessandro Calbucci and Marco Garavini headlining the field.
After successfully defending their 2013 World title last week in Cervia, Calbucci and Garavini will be in confident mood ahead of the defence of their European crown as they try to achieve the World-European double for the second year in a row.
Fellow Cervia finalists Luca Cramarossa and Luca Meliconi will be sure to provide another stern test for the champions. Meliconi, who finished as runner-up at the European Championships in both 2010 and 2011, has been one set away from glory on two occasions and will look to use his experience to make it third time lucky this year.
The women’s field also features a great wealth of talent with world champions Federica Bacchetta and Sofia Cimatti leading the way. Fellow Italians Eva D’Elia and Veronica Visani, who endured a disappointing World Championships, will be hoping to turn around their fortunes in Brighton.
The biggest challenge to Italy’s stranglehold on the tournament comes in the form of French sister act Marie-Eve and Mathilde Hoarau. After reaching the semifinals in Cervia, the pair will arrive at Yellowave with belief they can break Italy’s record of 18 titles in the 18 events that have been held across the six-year history of the competition.
This year’s event will also see Israel and Slovakia make their European Championship debuts.