01 Sep 2023

Guitler is back, but many look to spoil her return in Rio

Rio de Janeiro hosts FITEQ's first South American event in 2023 with the returning Natalia Guitler.

After a short end-of-summer break, Teqball Tour is back and on its way to Brazil – a country that guarantees excitement, competitiveness and a great atmosphere when it comes to ball games. There are not too many more illustrious locations than the Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s most famous beaches, that will be taken over by the best teqers.

118 players from 18 countries will face off in Brazil in three categories: women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

There is one legendary player, the sport’s first female world champion and one of the most popular ambassadors, Natalia Guitler, who makes her debut in 2023 after missing almost a year because of injuries and the long recovery process. The hometown hero will pair up in the women’s doubles with Rafaella Fontes, and this duo knows what it takes to win after claiming the first-ever women’s doubles World Championship title in 2019.

Their countrywomen, Ester Viana Mendes and Vania Moraes da Cruz from Santos will set their eyes on not only spoiling Guitler’s return but winning the event and getting their third tournament victory this year. Hungarians Krisztina Acs and Gabriella Kota also have a win under their belts from Esztergom, their latest appearance together five weeks ago.

And we know that almost every Brazilian unit is capable of causing surprises and pulling off upsets – it applies to every category in Rio de Janeiro.

The men’s tournament has the potential to be even more hard-fought and tight between many contenders. We have the top pairs from the host Rodrigo Bento Medeiros/Matheus Ferraz and Leonardo Santana/Leonardo Lindoso de Almeida, as well as world champion Marcos Vieira, who will play with Luiz Henrique Pereira Braga Araujo. Hungarians Csaba Banyik/Balazs Katz have won all but one event in 2023 and are now back on track after sweeping the Asian tour with two events.

Defending world champs Nikola Mitro/Bogdan Marojevic have been winless internationally since winning the final in Nuremberg and are eager to climb back to the top. Single’s word gold medallist, Apor Gyorgydeak once again teams up with Szabolcs Ilyes to bring a medal to Romania, and we have the always spectacular Frankie Diaz/Bartlomiej Franczuk in the field, too.

Seeing many new or not-so-regular line-ups in the mixed category will be interesting. Acs/Banyik, Katz/Kota, Carolyn Greco/Diaz must sound familiar to everybody, just like Moraes da Cruz/Lindoso de Almeida. But we are so curious about the teams like Fontes/Marojevic, Mendes/Gyorgydeak, Guitler/Davi, Patricia Mayara Nardy/Mitro, just to mention a few twosomes who have very little experience together (or nothing at all) and will look to find immediate chemistry next to the table.

The Copacabana is waiting for the players, and we are sure the players also can not wait to conquer the beautiful beach.