Barcelona’s beach tennis legacy continues to grow as the big names chased bigger points than ever before on the Catalan Coast at the Trofeu Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona de Tennis Platja.
The 12th edition of the event was its largest to date, with prize money rising from $6,500 to $10,000 in 2019 and newly-crowned ANOC World Beach Games champions Antomi Ramos Viera, Gerard Rodriguez and Nicole Nobile leading two competitive fields.
“More than 200 players participated in our tournament from 20 nations, including many of the world's top 20 players, such as Ramos, Marco Garavini and Nobile,” said tournament organisers, who were delighted with the event, run for the second time by Beach Tennis Barcelona.
“We had perfect weather, with a bright sun and about 23 degrees. We believe it has been a great success, both in terms of participation and organisational quality.”
The weekend produced a string of surprises, starting with victory in the 17-team mixed doubles event for unseeded Spanish duo Alejandra Porteiro and Aitor Catchot, who romped through the draw before beating top seeds Sabrina Lopez Garcia and Victor Lopez Rubio, the top seeds, in the final.
The upsets didn’t stop there. Ramos Viera and partner Mikael Alessi were top seeds in the men’s draw, only to be stopped in their tracks in the semi-finals by fellow Doha gold medallist Rodriguez and Latvia’s Maksimilian Andersons, 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3.
The No.3 seeds were denied victory in the final but French No.4 seeds Nicolas Gianotti and Mathieu Guegano, who won in convincing fashion 6-2 6-2.
Italian players dominated the women’s draw, with Martina Corbara and Ninny Valentini surging through the 28-team draw without dropping a set. In the final they met compatriots Michela and Noemi Romani, who ended Nobile and Russian partner Veronika Pershina’s run in the quarter-finals and downed Spanish No.1 Eva Fernandez and Magdalena Cini in the semis.
With the title on the line, Corbaba and Valentini proved a game too far for the Romani sisters, who went down 6-4 6-3.