Italians tipped to dominate beach event
Tony Brannon is anxious to see the response from former champions Alex Mingozzi and Matteo Marighella at the fourth ITF Beach Tennis International being held at Horseshoe Bay this weekend.
The Italians will be out to avenge last year’s loss to compatriots Alessandro Calbucci and Michele Cabelletti in the professional men’s final a 7-5, 7-6 (10-8) defeat that denied them a hat-trick of titles. The pair won the 2008 and 2009 editions of the championships.
They won’t have it all their way this year, however, as Calbucci returns, albeit with a new partner in Nicolo Strano, setting up a potential mouth-watering final between the two pairs.
Mingozzi and Marighella recently exacted revenge from last year’s loss with a victory over this year’s favourites in New York last month.
Brannon, event co-founder and tournament director is expecting a very exciting two days that is sure to throw up some surprises as well as some sensational beach tennis.
“The champions are returning as well as the former champions from the first two years, so we have the two best teams from Italy and we also have some players from Brazil, Spain, France, Aruba, and Venezuela just to name a few so it should be exciting,” said Brannon.
This year will also see a new champion crowned in the professional women’s field as last year’s winners Federica Bacchetta and Veronica Visani are not back to defend their title
Professional players will compete for $10,000 in prize earnings, with $2,500 to go to the eventual men’s and women’s winners, making the Bermuda Beach Tennis International a top tier event.
The remaining prize money is to be shared between the second, third and fourth place professional men and women finishers.
Local players will also get a chance to showcase their skills on Sunday in the amateur competition, while Brannon’s only worry on the event is the tide on the days of the event.
There is also a division for men and women amateur players who will also compete in a mixed- doubles event.
This year will see Bermuda Volleyball Association (BVA) stage the Spike-Fest Beach Volleyball Tournament to run in conjunction with the Bermuda Beach Tennis International, with the final on Sunday being held on centre court before the beach tennis final.
Alastair Williams, Head of Beach Tennis from the ITF, will be on hand to witness the weekend’s competition.
“This year we will have the volleyball finals of both the men’s and women’s on Sunday and these games will be played on centre court preceding the finals of the beach tennis.
“We also have 60-70 local playing in the amateur tournament on Sunday, so it’s looking to be a good weekend.
“We are just hoping that the sea surge isn’t too dramatic so we don’t have to worry about the water, but over all it’s looking good.”
“The event is in the top tier of beach tennis due to the prize money this year and it’s all possible due to our sponsors.
“Department of Tourism, ACE Group of Companies, Bermud Pest Control, Butterfield and Vallis and some others have all donated money towards to the event, so big thanks to them.
“Some people who couldn’t give prize money gave us services for the weekend so it is very generous what they are all doing.”