76 players from 20 Tennis Europe member nations were in action at the European Beach Tennis Championships last week. The event was held at the Lyttos Beach resort in Crete for the first time, where it was hosted by the Hellenic Tennis Federation. | 📸 Photo Gallery
The draws were headed by the Top 4 ranked women and 6 of the Top 12 men on the ITF Beach Tennis Tour. Streamed live online, the tournament produced its fair share of surprises, with French teams claiming two of the three gold medals on offer for the first time in the event’s history.
Despite the French gold rush, Italy remained on top of the Nations Ranking, as it has done in each previous edition of the Championships, closely followed by France and with Spain in third position.
Having lost the final in 2021 to an Italian team, Nicolas Gianotti and Theo Irigaray were determined not to let history repeat itself. In their last two matches, the French pair faced Italian teams. They first claimed victory against Doriano Beccaccioli and Diego Bollettinari in an intense semifinal 4-6 6-1 [10-3]. Gianotti and Irigaray had their eyes firmly on the prize during the final where they produced a high-quality performance to score a straight sets win over world #1 Michele Cappelletti and #3 Mattia Spoto.
It is the second time Irigaray has won a European Championship gold, adding to the one he won in 2018 alongside Mathieu Guegano.
Gold: (2) Nicolas Gianotti/Theo Irigaray (FRA) d. (1) Michele Cappelletti/Mattia Spoto 6-3 7-5
Bronze: (4) Beccaccioli Doriano/Diego Bollettinari (ITA) d. (3) Antonio Ramos/Gerard Rodriguez (ESP) 7-5 7-6(3)
Draws: Men's Doubles | Men's Consolation
! Just like last year, there was an all-Italian women’s final, played between Sofia Cimatti & Nicole Nobile against Veronica Casadei & Giulia Gasparri. Cimatti and Nobile were playing their second final in a row and came close to victory in a titanic three set match, but tournament veteran Gasparri was able to defend her title alongside her new partner.
For Gasparri this is the fourth gold medal that she adds to her collection (plus three silvers), while Cimatti has now four silver and four gold medals in the women’s competitions, making them the two most successful players in the event’s history. Casadei takes her gold medal home and adds it to the one she won in 2016, when she played the 18&Under event.
Gold: (1) Giulia Gasparri/Veronica Casadei (ITA) d. (2) Sofia Cimatti/Nicole Nobile (ITA) 6-4 6-7(6) 10-6
Bronze: (3) Eva Fernandez Palos/Sabrina Lopez Garcia (ESP) d. Ariadna Costa Graell/Omaira Farias (ESP) 6-2 1-6 10-6
Draws: Women's Doubles | Women's Consolation
The final match of the day saw Italy and France play one more final against each other. Nicolas Gianotti and Marie-Eve Hoarau faced Sofia Cimatti and Mattia Spoto, against whom the French team won 6-3 6-3. This win marks France’s first gold medal in mixed doubles at the Championships. Gianotti, ranked #4 in the world, will be particularly happy, leaving Greece with two gold medals.
Gold: (4) Marie-Eve Hoarau/Nicolas Gianotti (FRA) d. (2) Sofia Cimatti/Mattia Spoto (ITA) 6-3 6-3
Bronze: (7) Lola Barrau/Theo Irigaray (FRA) d. (1) Giulia Gasparri/Michele Cappelletti (ITA) 2-1 Ret.
Draw: Mixed Doubles
The European Championships were preceded by two special Beach Tennis Championships for Juniors, aged 14 and 18 & Under. Results can be found here.