Italian teams have once again dominated the European Beach Tennis Championships, claiming all available titles at the fifth edition of the event, which was held in Borgo Maggiore, San Marino last weekend.
The men’s doubles final saw defending champions and top seeds Luca Carli & Michele Cappelletti come agonisingly close to retaining their title. The pair was firmly in control early in the match, taking the first set 6-2 over compatriots Marco Garavini & Paolo Tazzari, winners of the World Championships title in Burgas (BUL) earlier this season. The second seeds levelled the match with a 6-3 second set win to force a final set. With nothing to separate the four players, the final set went to a tie break, won by Garavini & Tazzari 7-4.
Garavini & Tazzari therefore become the first male pair to win two European Beach Tennis Championships titles, having also won the inaugural event in 2008 in Riccione.
Urban Cevka & Botajan Repansek beat Spain’s Roman Dopico Rodriguez & Antoni Ramos Viera 6-3 6-0 to claim third place for Slovenia.
The women’s final was another all-Italian battle with first-time champions guaranteed as top seeds and 2010 finalists Federica Bacchetta & Giulia Spazzoli took on last year’s runners-up Simona Bonadonna & Eva D’Elia. The second seeds produced a dominant performance, conceding just four games to win the title and potentially leapfrog their opponents to secure the world #3 spot when the new rankings are released in a fortnight.
Third place went to Russia’s Irina Bulykina & Gulnara Fattakhetdinova. The former WTA touring pros beat Spain’s Pilar Escandell & Rosa Sitja 6-4 6-2 to claim the bronze medal position for a second consecutive year.
Marco Garavini & Federica Bacchetta later returned to the courts to secure the mixed doubles title for the first time with a decisive 6-0 6-2 win over their regular partners Tazzari & D’Elia. The mixed doubles bronze went to Spain’s Antoni Ramos Viera & Pilar Escandell, who were no doubt happy to claim third spot after each losing their third-place play-off match earlier in the day.
In total, over 120 players from 19 nations took part in the tournament, including first time participants Hungary. Next year the event is due to visit Great Britain for the first time.
Men's Doubles | Women's Doubles | Mixed Doubles
Men's Consolation | Women's Consolation
Photo Gallery | Nations Ranking