Kota & Katz were unstoppable in Pula
Pula did not disappoint as the World’s best teqers took over the Croatian city.
124 players competed in three categories (women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles) in the Croatian city, where World and European Champions showcased their skills, and the finals were played in the breathtaking Pula Arena amphitheatre.
Krisztina Acs and Gabriella Kota have been having an incredible year so far, together they reached the final in the previous three tournaments, and they extended their streak to four in Pula. On their way to the gold medal game they have not lost a set, not even against Amelie Julian/Zsofia Dezsenyi in the round of 8, and versus European Champions Lea Vasas/Zsanett Janicsek in the semi-final. The final proved to be a different animal though, where Kinga Barabasi/Katalin Dako outdueled them in the first set (12:11). The Hungarians did not smash the panic button and shook it off, took the momentum away and dominated afterwards to complete the comeback and claim the gold medal, their second in a row on European soil.
Acs/Kota - Barabasi/Dako 2:1 (-11, 6-, 5-)
The bronze went to Petra Pechy and Nora Vicsek who defeated Vasas/Janicsek in straight sets.
Acs and Kota made the final in the mixed doubles, too, however, on opposing sides. The former teamed up again with Csaba Banyik, and the latter did it with Balazs Katz - who are also teammates and we will talk about them later. Both duos had relatively calm paths to the last match, but it does not mean that there were no upsets and marathons. For example, Alicja Bartnicka and Marek Pokwap shocked Maja Umicevic and Nikola Mitro in the round of 16 with a comeback win, and Nora Vicsek/Matyas Odnoga played back-to-back three-set matches. Unfortunately for them, the second one meant the end of the road against Lea Vasas/Adam Bako. Kota/Katz handed Vasas/Bako their first (and only) loss in the semifinal.
Kota and Katz carried the momentum into the gold medal game, where the first set was very close between them and Acs/Banyik, so they increased their play and closed their opponents out in the second one.
Kota/Katz - Acs/Banyik 2:0 (10-, 7-)
Vasas/Bako's consolation prize was the bronze medal that they claimed in thrilling fashion versus Apor Gyorgydeak/Zsanett Janicsek, as the third set ended 16:14 in favour of the Hungarians.
The once seemingly unbeatable Banyik and Katz joined their forces again and sat back on the throne in Pula. They not only put the crown back on their heads but did it in a dominating way with no lost sets. In the final, they faced Bako/Odnoga who ended their 11-month-long winning streak in July, and this time they made sure that the revenge would be served cold. Bako and Odnoga continued to turn heads and prove that their tournament win in Esztergom was not accidental. In Hungary, they achieved the gold by defeating Nikola Mitro/Bogdan Marojevic in the final, and in Pula, the three-time World Champions were once again unable to solve the up-and-coming twosome. The Serbs ended their Croatian stay on a high note though, as they finished third after beating Adam Blazsovics/Martin Csereklye in the bronze medal game.
In the final, the two Hungarian teams were head-to-head in the first set, but Banyik/Katz turned the heat up and came up stronger in the finish. The second set looked way different as Banyik/Katz took control from the get-go and never let their opponents come back.
Banyik/Katz - Bako/Odnoga 2:0 (7-, 7-)
Huge weekend for Gabriella Kota and Balazs Katz with both winning two trophies in Pula.
The next stop and also the last of Teqball Tour 2023 will be in the always joyful Los Angeles on October 6-8.