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11/08/2019 18:00
Young Italians triumph at 1-Star event in Budapest
2019 World Tour 1-Star - Budapest

Budapest, Hungary, August 11, 2019. Chiyo Suzuki/Yurika Sakaguchi of Japan and Italy’s outsiders Jakob Windisch/Samuele Cottafava are the eventual winners of the World Tour 1-Star event organised this week at Lupa Lake in the outskirts of Budapest.  
 

Only a few could have predicted that the no. 8 and 11 seeds would have played the men’s final. However, on the morning of the last day of the 1-Star World Tour at the iconic Lake Lupa, Budapest, no. 11 seed Windisch and Cottafava needed two sets only to edge Kensuke Shoji and Masato Kurasaka [3] of Japan in the semis (21-15, 21-15). The Norwegians Daniel Bergerud and Lars Tveit Retterholt [8] had to work a bit more to ease past Latvia’s Toms Smedins and Haralds Regza [6] 2-0 (21-16, 22-20), who eventually regrouped later in the afternoon to secure the bronze medal.
 
The Italians did not make too many mistakes after they reached the final, even though their opponents from Norway claimed the second set of the grand finale. However, playing with much passion and the right mind-set, Windisch and Cottafava changed the course of the game again. Cottafava’s outstanding performance in the tiebreak was the turning point, and after almost 50 minutes of play the Italian tandem could celebrate their 2-1 triumph (21-16, 19-21, 15-9).


Teams from Italy and Norway contesting the final act of the men’s tournament in Budapest.
 
“We just won our first ever World Tour event,” the Italian youngsters admitted. “We would not have thought that Hungary could host the competition in such a beautiful place, this could be an example for Italy,” they continued.
 
There were only two matches still to play in the women’s tournament after the semis had taken place on Saturday night under floodlights. After missing out on the finals, the second-seeded Dutch team of Emi van Driel/Raisa Schoon won the bronze medal. Francesca Kirwan and Olivia MacDonald from New Zealand could not pose a real threat to the young ‘Oranjes’. 


The full podium of the 1-Star event held at the iconic Lupa Lake in the outskirts of Budapest.
 
Russia’s Daria Mastikova and Polina Tsyganova claimed a close first set of the women’s finale, but they somehow ran out of fuel, especially in the tiebreak, so Suzuki/Sakaguchi were the eventual winners of the competition. “We really enjoyed the event, especially with this gold medal now. It was brutally hot and we fought a lot against our opponent, but it was worth it,” the Japanese players commented.

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