World Number 1 doubles pairs dominate at USA Teqball Tour stop in Los Angeles
The second USA Teqball Tour evert of the year took place from 9-10 April 2022, this time in Los Angeles. Men’s and women’s doubles competitions were held, building on the success of the first stop of the year in San Diego, in January.
The event was streamed live on ESPN, with fans in the stadium and watching at home treated to two days on non-stop action. The beach event featured a number of highly-ranked stars, including World Number 1 doubles pairings Carolyn Greco and Margaret Osmundson, who were playing in front of a passionate home crowd, and Serbia’s Nikola Mitro and Bogdan Marojevic.
In the men’s doubles, the reigning world champions Mitro and Marojevic cruised to the final with ease. They defeated Brazil’s Joao Barreto and Bruno Milhomens 2-0 (12-4, 12-0) in the last eight, before dominating France’s highly regarded duo of Julien Grondin and Hugo Rabeux in another straight sets victory. In the other half of the draw, home favourite Frankie Diaz and his Uruguayan partner Andres Berriel just came up short in the quarter-finals against the increasingly prominent pairing of Martin Csereklye (Hungary) and Bartlomiej Franczuk (Poland).
The run of USA team of Andre Espinoza and Kevin McKeon also ended at the quarter-final stage, after an impressive group stage performance. They fell to Romanian stars Apor Gyorgydeak and Szabolcs Ilyes 2-0 (12-8, 12-5). This set up a semi-final showdown against Csereklye and Franczuk, for a place in the final against the World Number 1 pairing. In one of the closest matches of the weekend, the Romania’s narrowly overcame their European rivals, securing a 2-0 (12-9, 12-9) win.
Prior to the gold medal match it was time for the third place play-off, which saw Grondin and Rabeux bounce back from their semi-final defeat to earn a place on the podium. The French team beat Csereklye and Franczuk 2-0 (12-9, 12-9) in another exhilarating match. In the final, the class and skill of Mitro and Marojevic was once again in full slow. The pair are in seemingly unstoppable form and their comfortable 2-0 (12-3, 12-5) win over the Romanians meant they went the whole competition without dropping a set, and further their positioning as the team to beat in men’s doubles.
In the women’s doubles, the USA’s World Number 1 duo of Greco and Osmundson entered with confidence, but also with the knowledge that they might have to overcome Paris World Series champions Zsanett Janicsek and Lea Vasas to take home the gold.
Greco and Osmundson stormed through the group stages without dropping a set. And their form continued into the knockout stages with back-to-back 2-0 victories to send them to the final. In the quarter-finals they won 12-3, 12-1 against Anastasija Lemajic and Paula Quintero, before beating fellow Americans Kimberly Baker and Christine Kwon 12-9, 12-3.
Janicsek and Vasas looked to be carrying on where they left off at the World Series after a dominant group phase and 2-0 (12-4, 12-5) win in the quarter-finals. Their semi-final opponents were Vania Moraes Da Cruz and Thuany Karoline Platt, who cruised past their Brazilian compatriots Juliane Braga and Roberta Goulart in the last eight.
The Hungarians got off to the perfect start, edging a nervy opening set 12-9. However, the match was turned on its head when the Brazilians took the second set 12-2. With all the momentum heading into the final set, Da Cruz and Platt managed to secure a 12-9 victory to book their place in the final.
The final was a repeat of a group stage match, which Greco and Osmundson won 2-0 (12-7, 12-6). If the Americans were expecting a repeat scoreline, they were in for a shock as Da Cruz and Platt took the opener 12-4. Unfazed by going a set down, Greco and Osmundson showed why they are the World Number 1 team, winning the second set 12-1. Buoyed by the turnaround, the Americans kept the pressure on to win the decider 12-7, to the delight of the home crowd. In the third place play-off, Janicsek and Vasas secured the bronze with a straightforward 2-0 (12-5, 12-4) victory.