2017-07-02 13:24:00 CEST
Lupo/Nicolai book final place with victory over Alison/Bruno
European champions Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai booked their place in their first ever Swatch Major Series final with a stunning comeback victory over their Rio conquerors Alison/Bruno.
The Poreč Major semifinal meeting of the gold and silver medal winners from last summer’s Olympics had the makings of a classic – and it didn’t disappoint.
Alison/Bruno, who won gold here 12 months ago, took the first set but an inspired recovery from the Europeans denied the Brazilians a second successive final place.
The lead went one way and then the other in the second set before Lupo/Nicolai took control – and in the decider, the Italians raced away to record a thoroughly deserved 17-21, 21-17, 15-11 victory.
Their win meant there will be no all-Brazilian final after Pedro/Guto reached their first final as a team on the World Tour. The duo defeated young Russian pair Stoyanovskiy/Yarzutkin in straight sets 21-15, 21-16.
The Brazilians have stormed through the competition unbeaten having come through both country quota and qualification. Pedro, last year’s Gstaad Major winner, and Guto – who won the A1 Major Klagenfurt – have won eight matches on Croatian sand this week.
Alison/Bruno and Stoyanovskiy/Yarzutkin will meet in the bronze medal match at 2.50pm CET before the grand finale of the Porec Major takes place on the Red Bull Beach Arena at 4.05pm CET.
Thank you from the heart!
Read the third installment of Ben Saxton's Swatch Major Series blog
Gold medalists have to get ready for Gstaad
Stunning comeback gives Brazilian qualifiers gold