Russian and Italian teams dominated the European Beach Tennis Championships in Kranevo (BUL), winning 8 of the 9 available medals on Sunday’s final day of action.
World #1 Nikita Burmakin teamed with Sergey Kuptsov to give Russia its first ever European men’s doubles title. The Russian third seeds had strolled through to the semi-finals, where they outlasted top seeds Doriano Beccaccioli & Davide Benussi in the match of the tournament, eventually prevailing with a marathon 7-6(5) 3-6 6-4 win.
Playing their second consecutive final, Burmakin & Kuptsov faced Spaniards Antomi Ramos & Gerard Rodriguez, who had ended the run of another Russian team, Nikolai Gurev & Ivan Syrov in their semi. A hotly contested final saw Burmakin & Kuptsov win 6-4 7-6(6) to secure the historic victory.
Speaking after the win, a delighted Burmakin commented, “We are very happy to have finally won here - I’ve been trying for seven years. We won the mixed doubles once, but the dream has always been to win the men’s. Last year we got very close, and the scenario was repeated, with a very tough semi-final before we managed to hold on today. After this, we’re looking forward to more victories.”
The final marked the first time in the 12 editions of the tournament that no Italian team contested the men’s final. In contrast, the women’s event produced an all-Italian final for a sixth consecutive year. Both defending champions were back in the final, but this time on opposite sides of the net as Sofia Cimatti teamed with 2017 champion Gulia Gasparri, while Flaminia Daina paired with Nicole Nobile.
The battle between the top two seeds was as tight as expected, though after splitting the opening two sets it was to be Cimatti & Gasparri that ran away with the decider, eventually posting a 6-3 2-6 6-1 win. Cimatti has now won 4 of last 5 European women’s titles, while Gasparri picks her second win from five consecutive finals.
The mixed doubles provided more silverware for Italy, and a measure of revenge for Daina over her victor in the women’s final, as she teamed with Doriano Baccaccioli for a 6-4 6-2 win over Cimatti and Tommaso Giovannini.
Italy therefore topped the Nations Ranking at the end of the event, just as it has in each previous edition. However Russia’s success produced the closest ever chase to the spot, with Spain finishing third.
126 players from 19 Tennis Europe member nations took part in the event, which was hosted by the Bulgarian Tennis Federation from 5-8 September, and was preceded by special junior competitions for the 14 and 18 & Under age groups.
Click here for a photo gallery from Kranevo.
Gold: Burmakin/Kuptsov (RUS) d. Ramos Viera/Rodriguez (ESP) 6-4 7-6(6)
Bronze: Beccaccioli/Benussi (ITA) d. Gurev/Syrov (RUS) 6-4 6-1
Gold: Cimatti/Gasparri (ITA) d. Daina/Nobile (ITA) 6-3 2-6 6-1
Bronze: Churakova/Glimakova (RUS) d. Kirgizova/Nikoyan (RUS) 7-5 3-6 6-3
Gold: Daina/Beccaccioli (ITA) d. Cimatti/Giovannini (ITA) 6-4 6-2
Bronze: Glimakova/Burmakin (RUS) d. Hoarau/Irigaray (FRA) 6-4 6-2
14&U Boys Doubles | 14&U Girls Doubles | 14&U Mixed Doubles
18&U Boys Doubles | 18&U Girls Doubles | 18&U Mixed Doubles