Francisco Paquito Navarro and Daniel Gutierrez were joined by the Sanchez Alayeto twins as the champion of champions at the season-ending Estrella Damm Master Final that concluded at the IFEMA padel courts late on Sunday [December 18].
The very last of the competitions that brought down the curtains on the 2016 season had an exciting finish in more ways than one. The world number ones in the men’s section were once again not present in the final, while the Sanchez Alayeto sisters amended their recent loss of form with a win in straight sets against the world’s best couple, Alejandra Salazar and Marta Marrero.
Pitted in the semi-final against world number four Miguel Lamperti and Juani Mieres, world number ones Fernando Belasteguin and Pablo Lima had to pull out at the last moment after Lima was unable to take to the court due to a fever that was because of a kidney infection that had been diagonised in Barcelona last week.
In fact, doctors had advised the Brazilian to take complete rest and avoid further exertion that would ultimately lead to a fever. And that is exactly what happened on Saturday as doctors on court decided that Lima was unfit to play the semi-finals, thus putting Lamperti and Mieres straight into their first-ever WPT Master final.
In the other half of the draw, there was no stopping Navarro and Gutierrez and the long-time friends easily made it past world No.3s, Mati Diaz and Maxi Sanchez 6-4, 6-4 to meet Lamperti and Mieres in Sunday’s finale. That task too proved to be easy for the Spaniard and Argentinean as they took less than two hours to win 6-3, 6-4 and clinch their first Estrella Damm Master Final.
In the women’s side of the competition,the Sanchez Alayeto twins were focused on ending the season on a high as they defeated Marrero and Salazar 6-2, 7-6. Earlier, the twins had beaten Gemma Triay and Lucia Sanz in a gruelling three sets 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, while Salazar and Marrero had overcome Marta Ortega and Alba Galan 6-4, 6-4 in quick time.
Mario Hernando, Director General of WPT was joined by Jose Luis Serrano, special delegate from the WPT and sponsors representatives Felipe Del Bano (Volvo) and Javier Murillo (Adeslas) at the presentation of trophies to the winners and runners-up after the jam-packed final.
“It was only after the quarter-finals that we started believing that we can win this one,” Gutierrez said after the final.
“Both of us [Navarro and he] are like one family. We stay together and back each other on and off the court in good times and the not so good times too. That is the key of our understanding,” he added.
The WPT will now take a break for the festive season before meeting again in late January to deliberate on a new calendar for 2017.
Reference : World Padel Tour