World Paddle Tennis Championships: Day 4 Highlights

By Neil Campbell
Neil Campbell
Neil Campbell
August 28, 2008 Updated: September 8, 2008

CALGARY—The semi final brackets in the men’s and women’s open were decided Wednesday during exciting quarter-final action.

The Argentinean men saw three of their teams defeated in quarter final action with only Fernando Cavalleri and Rodrigo Ovide advancing to the semi-finals after beating Brazil’s Mateus Simonato and Stefano Flores by a score of 6-3, 6-0.

Argentina’s Gustav Briner and Damien Diez fell in exceptional fashion to Spain’s David Losada and Juan Jose Mieres by a score of 6-1, 6-1.

Before the match Briner was very optimistic despite playing against the number one team in Spain. He mentioned that they had played this team three times in the past, and had lost two of the three matches against Argentina.

After it was all over, Briner praised the Spanish team’s skill. “The game was really incredible. They play at a really, really high level,” he said.

“We don’t have very many opportunities to play someone at that level. I think it was a weird match because they were always on the ball, they never missed anything. It was surprising for me — we didn’t think that we would ever lose that badly.”

Thursday’s Men’s Open semi-finals will feature Spain’s Gervasio Del Bono and Julio Julianoti against Argentina’s last remaining team of Rodrigo Ovide and Fernando Cavalleri. On the other side it will be an all Spanish match up with Munoz and Navarro against Losada and Mieres.

On the Women’s Open side, both of Brazil’s women’s teams took losses as Laura and Mariana Altmayer lost to Spain and Argentina’s combo of Melissa Capra and Begonia Garralda by a score of 6-0, 6-1.

In a close match, Tatiana Sahagoff and Suseje Aguilar lost to Spain’s Eva Gayoso and Patricia Llaguno by a score of 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
In Men’s team play, Canada pulled off an upset 2-1 victory against Portugal earning the right to play against Italy for 9th to 10th place, thereby giving Team Canada their best ever showing at a World Championships.

“It was hard-fought; one of the matches was a three-setter. Me and my partner, Cory Shannon fought it until the end and it was great,” said Canadian Andreas Stamile after the match.

“It was good paddle all the way around. Portugal has beaten us in the past so the win against them now is great, it’s a good feeling. Hopefully we can get through the next step and beat the other upcoming countries.”

Stamile also said he was proud of Team Canada’s accomplishment, “It’s the best that Canada has ever done and hopefully we can fight through it and do it. I’m just happy for my country and happy for the fans who came out to watch.”

Team USA fell to Mexico in their match 3-0 after Mike May suffered a pulled calf muscle.

On the women’s side, Team Canada faced off against Chile in a very loud and noisy match. With chants of “Chi-chi-chi le-le-le! Viva Chile!” echoing through the Calgary West Soccer Centre, the Chileans came back from an early 1-0 deficit to win the match 2-1.
Thursday features big team match ups such as Argentina against Chile and Spain against Brazil on the men’s side.

Argentina’s Gustav Briner commented on their upcoming match against Chile.

“It’s really awesome that we’re here to be defending our position as the number one country. We’re getting ready for the semi-finals match against Chile and I expect we will play against Spain in the finals,” he said.

Briner added that he expects to win against the Chilean team, which he described to be of a different caliber than Spain, Brazil and Argentina.

“Chile is a good team, but they are not a very competitive team. They’ve got some good people; they just need more competitive people. They just aren’t at the same level as Spain and Brazil.”