Brazilians upset the favourites in Rio
The famous Copacabana beach hosted the best teqers in the world at FITEQ’s first event in South America this season.
118 players from 18 countries faced each other in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in three categories: women’s, men’s, and mixed doubles as the first event in 2023 in South America by FITEQ.
The top-seeded teqers of mixed doubles performed confidently and reached the semi-finals without any upsets. The category’s first world champion, Natalia Guitler with her partner Claudio Davi Ponte Dos Santos, both from Brazil were among the ones who could surprise the favourites, however, Guitler in the quarter-finals got injured at 1:1 against her fellow opponents, Vania Moraes Da Cruz/Leonardo Lindoso De Almeida and although returned, she could hardly walk and lost the match. The duo of Krisztina Acs & Csaba Banyik, who already won two Teqball Tours in 2023, reached the finals where the other Hungarian pair, Gabriella Kota/Balazs Katz, was awaiting them.
The Hungarians were head-to-head in the whole final, however with a bit more luck Acsa/Banyik won the gold.
Kota/Katz – Acs/Banyik 0:2 (11-,11-)
“We practice and compete together a lot. We know each other very well and none of us can surprise the other one. Today, we were better but it was very close in each set, however winning in the Copacabana Beach is something I have always wanted to experience.” – said Banyik.
Ester Viana Mendes/Apor Gyorgydeak won the tournament’s first medal as they won in three against Moraes Da Cruz/ Lindoso De Almeida.
As one of the favourites, Guitler did not compete in women’s doubles, her partner Raffaela Fontes got a new partner, Vanessa Tabarez Tabarez and although it was a brand new pair, they have reached the semi-finals where the other Brazilians, Moraes Da Cruz/ Viana Mendes stopped them. The multiple Teqball Tour winner twosome, Kota/Acs qualified easily to the finals without a single set loss.
In the final, the first went to the Hungarians, and the crowd felt that it is their time to help out their players. With plenty of huge saves by Viana Mendes, the Brazilians took the momentum and never let it go. Their victory meant another huge surprise at the tournament and also the first place for their country at the medals table.
Moraes Da Cruz/Viana Mendes – Kota/Acs 2:1 (10-,-10,-8)
“Winning at home, especially at the Copacabana Beach is the feeling that you cannot prepare yourself. We made it, together with the our amazing fans and I am sure that this success will create more success for Teqball in our homeland.” – added Moraes Da Cruz.
Rodrigues Tabarez/Fontes took the 3rd place in two sets against Leticia Luzorio Barbosa/Patricia Mayara Nardy
The biggest upset happened in men’s doubles after the European champion double Banyik/Katz who won 11 of 12 events in this category this year lost in the semi-finals in against Lindoso de Almeida & Leonardo Santana while the spectators in the Carioca Arena 1 went frenzy. From the other side, the three-time world champions, Bogdan Marojevic/Nikola Mitro from Serbia advanced to the finals with only lost set during the tournament.
On Sunday, Lindoso de Almeida & Santana seemed to be shocked by the jam-packed venue and the Serbian quickly took the first set. Marojevic/Mitro played very sharp and took every chance to score. Although the second period were closer the home side could not utilize the vibe by the home crowd and lost in two.
Marojevic/Mitro – Lindoso De Almeida/Santana 2:0 (-1,-6)
“We were waiting very long for this season’s first Teqball Tour triumph, but achieving it in Rio was worth every struggle. Next week in Pula, our goal is to continue the success, however, we are slowly changing our focus to the World Teqball Championships in Thailand to get our fourth title.” – explained Marojevic.
Banyik/Katz faced Matheus Ferraz/Rodrigo Bento Medeiros from Brazil, but the South Americans could not keep the bronze home after they lost in two close sets.
The best teqers will next meet and showcase their talent in Pula, Croatia, between 14-17 September, as the Teqball Tour’s last event in Europe this year.