Dubai: Title favourites Spain and Argentina stormed into the quarter-finals of men’s and women’s competitions of the DP World Padel Championships following the conclusion of the group stage matches at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Wednesday.
Spain and Argentina, the two powerhouses who have dominated the padel sport for decades, have yet to drop a set and are inching towards a potential mouth-watering final showdown.
Brazil and Chile also advanced to the next round of the men’s competition. Belgium stunned Italy to secure a spot in the last eight of the championships.
Spain, who are dreaming of retaining both titles after winning the championships in Doha last year, defeated Britain 3-0. Alejandro Galan, the world’s No 1, and Alejandro Ruiz provided a perfect start to the team.
No escape route
In the opening set, Galan and Ruiz got their noses out in front early, breaking the serve.
Britain’s Louie Harris and Jones Sam were unable to find an escape as the Spaniards quickly established leads in both sets and never looked back.
They comfortably won the game 6-1, 6-1. Later, Jeronimo Gonzalez and Francisco Navarro secured a 6-2, 6-0 win over Francis Langan and Nikhil Mohindr.
Javier Garrido and Yanguas Miguel won the first set but faced some anxious moments in the second before wrapping up the battle 6-1, 6-4. Britain’s Richard Ruiz Brooks and Christian Murohy Medina fought hard and tried their best to make a comeback but fell short in their efforts.
Spain will square off against Chile for a spot in the semi-final.
Argentina also had a smooth passage to the quarter-finals after 3-0 win over the Netherlands. They were quickly off the blocks, with Federico Chingotto and Franco Stupaczuk beating Uriel Maarsen and Robin Sietsma 6-1, 6-0, in the first game.
Fernando Belastegiun and Juan Tello struggled against Rene Lindenbrgh and Werner Lootsma before winning the set 6-2, 7-5.
Carlos Gutierrez and Maximiliano Sanchez defeated Bram Meijer and Sten Richters 6-2, 6-2 in the third.
The decisive match of Group B between Italy and Belgium also grabbed the attention of the fans as they both were battling to finish second in the group and advance to the quarter-finals with Argentina.
The Belgians proved too hot to handle for the Italians. The two wins from Maxime Deloyer and Montoisy Laurent and Clement Geens and Jerome Peeters had already sealed the match’s fate.
Italy won the third, and the game ended 2-1 in favour of Belgium.
Meanwhile, Spain and Argentina secure quarter-finals tickets in the women’s competition of the championships with easy victories over their rivals.
Defending champions Spain brushed aside Chile 3-0, while Argentina beat Japan with the same score line.
France, Brazil, and Sweden all finished with the same points in Women’s Group D. After much drama, France and Brazil got the two tickets for quarter-finals.
The twist began in the final round of Group D after Brazil defeated Sweden 2-1, leaving both nations on equal points with France.
France had won the group, as the rules state that the set scores count first through the group stage.
But secondly, the meetings between the two countries count; therefore, Brazil goes through after beating Sweden.
Italy and Portugal, who are in Group C, also advanced to the next round.
Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, the International Padel Federation’s flagship team event is hosted by the UAE Padel Association (UAEPA) in association with the Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET).