Italian teams once again dominated the European Beach Tennis Championships, with the nation accounting for all three titles on the final day of action at the event, which was held in Antalya, Turkey from 10-12 September.
Alex Mingozzi and Matteo Marighella are the new men's champions, after surviving a marathon third set tie break to beat top seeds and 2008 runners-up Alan Maldini and Luca Meliconi in an unforgettable final match.
Having conceded just ten games in four matches on their way to the final, Mingozzi & Marighella established a 6-3 lead over their compatriots before a second set lapse saw them concede six games in a row as Maldini & Meliconi levelled the score. Both teams saved match points in a tense decider, which the second seeds eventually clinched 10-8.
Italy also ruled the women's event, where Simona Briganti and Laura Olivieri handed a rare loss to top seeded compatriots and ITF World Champions Federica Bacchetta and Giulia Spazzoli 6-2 7-5 in the final.
Both teams had struggled earlier in the event, with the champions forced to fight back from a set down in the quarterfinals against French national champions Julie Flamain and Geraldine Guilbon and Bacchetta & Spazzoli pushed to three sets by Karatzyna Kaleta and Aleksandra Rosolska of Poland.
The win represents a second European title for both players; Briganti previously won the event in 2008 with Rossella Stefenelli while Olivieri won last year's title with Mara Santangelo.
Briganti returned to the court later in the day to defend her mixed doubles title, teaming with men's champion Mingozzi for a 7-6(7) 7-6(7) win over Meliconi and Spazzoli.
As in previous years, the event attracted former professional players as well as some of the biggest names from the ITF Beach Tennis Tour. Chayenne Ewijk & Merlot Meddens, who have teamed up to win several ITF Women's Circuit titles, represented the Netherlands, whilst 9-times doubles title winner Gulnara Fattakhetdinova represented Russia. On the men's side, Petros Baghdatis & Christopher Koutrouzas, both of whom have represented their country in the Davis Cup, were seeded sixth, and reached the semi finals.
A record total of 17 nations took part in the 2010 event, which was held in a knockout format over three days. Beach Tennis is played as doubles with players using paddle bats and a slightly depressurized tennis ball, which is not allowed to bounce. For more information, visit www.itftennis.com/beachtennis
Gallery | Men's Draw | Women's Results | Mixed Results