2019-03-18 09:54:00 CET
Chileans on fire on the World Tour as they strike again in Doha
Cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt continued their red-hot form on the World Tour by storming to a second gold medal in the space of a week with victory in the four-star tournament in Doha.
The pair were in brilliant form in the Qatari capital, beating a number of top teams on their way to clinching yet first place on the podium. Their victory over Americans Nick Lucena and Phil ‘The Thin Beast’ Dalhausser capped a momentous week for the Chilean boys.
The previous week had seen the duo win gold in Sydney’s three-star event but the level of competition in Doha was even higher, proving that their gold in Australia was no fluke.
Having come through qualification, Esteban and Marco lost their pool play opener to Austrian veterans Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst. But a win over Tamer Abelrasoul and Assam Mahmoud of Qatar earned the South Americans a place in the knockout phase.
The elimination rounds certainly showcased the confidence flowing through the cousins’ play, as they saw off a host of household names en route to the final. Hendrik Mol and Christian Sorum were knocked out in the round of 16 before Brazil’s Guto and Saymon then bit the dust. Italian Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai were their next victims in the quarterfinals before the Polish stars of 2018, Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek were beaten in the semis.
Standing between them and another gold were US stars Nick and Phil, who were making their first appearance on the World Tour since the Vienna Major in August. The veterans had cruised through to the gold medal match, dropping just one set in the tournament. However, the Americans had no answer to the form of the Grimalts, who took top spot on the podium in straight sets, 21-15, 21-15.
“It was a crazy two weeks, and we are so proud of our team, our family and our country,” Esteban Grimalt said. “I don’t have words to describe our feelings right now.
“When we started on the World Tour nine years ago it was against Dalhausser (and Todd Rogers) and now many years later we have beaten him in a final. It is a dream come true for us, but we want more and to keep improving.”
Taking bronze was popular Spanish duo Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, who beat Bryl and Fijalek 21-17, 23-21 in the fight for third place.