Photo: James JordanMarco Garavini and Alessandro Calbucci (ITA)
Alessandro Calbucci and Marco Garavini have become the first men’s pair to defend the title at the European Beach Tennis Championships as they defeated compatriots Luca Meliconi and Luca Cramarossa for the second time in as many weeks, 61 64 in the final.
Together, they have now achieved ‘Il Triple’ as they affectionately refer to their recent success - becoming the first pair to hold the title of Italian, European and World Champions. Over the past month, they have also achieved an international triple having won the World Team, the individual World and now the European Championships.
"This was the first time ever anyone has won the triple and this was definitely an extra motivation for us," said Calbucci. "Two victories in a row against the same opponents exactly the same as last year is not easy. We are very happy and now we can enjoy our summer."
"Today we had the objective to become the first team to win the triple as we had already won the World Team and the individual World Championships," added Garavini. "Playing with Calbucci today, we were very motivated to make this achievement by adding the European title."
It was not the only triple that Garavini has achieved as a result of his Brighton triumph. "For me the European and the World Championships are very important and this is now the third consecutive year I have won them both," he added.
The finals were delayed due to an unwelcome visit from Hurricane Bertha and the wind remained strong throughout the match. Calls of ‘fuori’ (out) were often followed by a dismayed sideward glance between partners as the ball veered back into court.
Sofia Cimatti and Federica Bacchetta, who had won the women's individual World Championships in Cervia last week, failed to emulate their male counterparts after losing to compatriots Eva D’Elia and Veronica Visani 64 64 in an equally blustery final. High serves and lobs were the order of the day as the wind left the returners chasing across the sand in a desperate attempt to keep the ball in play.
"It was not an attractive match with adverse weather conditions," surmised D’Elia. "But we kept our concentration well and we were patient when we needed to be. It was great to win after losing to them [Cimatti and Bacchetta] last week in the World Championships."
"There was a lot of wind and we were playing against good friends," added Visani. "But this is my first time playing in the European Championships so I am very happy to have won."
The men’s third-place match was won by Spaniards Antomi Ramos-Veira and Saulo Tejada, defeating David Mottin and Cyrille Lamy from France 46 62 [10-7]. The French however were guaranteed a place on the podium in the ladies’ event as both their teams faced each other for third place. It was Manuela Amiard and Pauline Bourdet who clinched the match 57 64 [11-9].
Full results can be found here.