Italy’s Doriano Beccaccioli & Marco Spoco have claimed their first ever European Beach Tennis Championship title, beating France’s Nicolas Gianotti and Theo Irigaray to the gold medal in Sofia, Bulgaria.
New men’s champions were guaranteed after the semi-finals, when the French third seeds ousted Russia’s defending champions Nikita Burmakin & Sergey Kuptsov in a memorable three set battle. On the other side of the draw, the fourth-seeded Italians also struggled to beat a Russian team, before ending the run of top seeds Antonio Ramos & Gerard Rodriguez (ESP) in the semis.
One break in each set was enough to settle the final, with the Italians winning 7-5 6-4 to end Irigaray's hopes of becoming the first non-Italian player ever to win the event twice.
The women’s final saw the defending champions battling for gold once more: but this time they were on opposite sides of the net. In the end, the all-Italian battle was won decisively by top seeds Giulia Gasparri & Ninny Valentine, who conceded just four games to Sofia Cimatti & Nicole Nobile.
Gasparri thus secured the gold medal for a third time in four editions while Cimatti adds a second silver to her two gold medals. It was a perfect debut for Valentine, who won the gold on her first appearance at the Championships.
The bronze medal was claimed by Daria Churakova and Liudmila Nikoyan of Russia. Having lost to the top seeds in the semi-finals, they bounced back to beat France's Magali Garnier and Lisa Jamais by the score of 6-1 7-6(8).
The mixed doubles final proved to be the match of the day as Antonio Ramos and Eva Fernandez Palos fought back from a set down to outlast Daria Churakova and Nikita Burmakin 3-6 6-3 10-4.
The win marks Spain’s first ever gold medal at the Championships, and ensured the team a second-place finish in the Nation’s Trophy, behind Italy and ahead of Russia.
Teams from 15 Tennis Europe nations took part in the Championships, which were hosted by the Bulgarian Tennis Federation for a fifth time. The event was preceded by European Championship events for juniors aged 14 and 18 & Under. Full results from all competitions can be found below. | 📷 Photo Gallery
Gold: (4) Doriano Beccaccioli/Mattia Spoto (ITA) d. (3) Nicolas Gianotti/Theo Irigaray (FRA) 7-5 6-4
Bronze: (1) Antonio Ramos/Gerard Rodriguez (ESP) d. Nikita Burmakin/Sergey Kuptsov (RUS) 6-4 4-6 10-7
Gold: (1) Giulia Gasparri/Ninny Valentine (ITA) d. (2) Sofia Cimatti/Nicole Nobile (ITA) 6-2 6-2
Bronze: (3) Daria Churakova/Liudmila Nikoian (RUS) d. Magali Garnier/Lisa Jamais (FRA) 6-1 7-6(8)
Gold: (2) Eva Fernandez Palos/Antonio Ramos Viera (ESP) d. Daria Churakova/Nikita Burmakin (RUS) 3-6 6-3 10-4
Bronze: (3) Giulia Gasparri/Marco Faccini (ITA) d. Ninny Valentini/Doriano Beccaccioli (ITA) 6-1 6-0
Men's Doubles | Women's Doubles | Mixed Doubles
Men's Consolation | Women's Consolation
14&U Boys | 14&U Girls | 14&U Mixed
18&U Boys | 18&U Girls | 18&U Mixed
18&U Boys Consolation | 18&U Girls Consolation