Seventh seeds Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula clinched the Qatar Open 2016, part of the FIVB World Open Beach Volleyball Tour, on Friday.
The Italians shifted their game into higher gears at the right time and won the final showdown 21-17 21-19 against Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl of Austria in 37 minutes.
The 198-cm tall Ranghieri posed a lot of problems to the rivals at the net. Not only he fired some lightning blows, he blocked Huber on several occasions to collect important points.
He did exactly the same after left-handed Carambula, at 19-19 in the second set, executed a delicate and perfect drop at the back court to gain the first match point.
Ranghieri showed his menace at the net with a dead-block on Seidl that wrapped up the match.
Ranghieri commented after the match, “The second title is really good for us. We gained very valuable 500 points that we were looking for. Now we should be around seventh or eighth on the Road to Rio. We’re very happy with this effort.
“We appreciate everybody like our coach, doctors, physio and nutritionists for helping us this season. And 500 points for the Olympic rankings are having us rock really.
“We have a wonderful chemistry between us. For me, everybody is physical and in good shape. But it is more of a mental match. Besides, we feel we can play anybody. We have fun and we enjoy playing together.
“Carambula is a great support. When you play big teams, one point may make or mar your match. We have a good chemistry working between us and that helps us a lot,” added Ranghieri.
Carambula was a perfect foil to Ranghieri. He covered the court well and used sky-scrapper services to trouble the 21st-seeded opponents.
He said, “We went up by two – three points in both the sets and then we relaxed. Then they came back and luckily, we won the match in the end. So we’re delighted with the crown here.”
Seidl however was disturbed by the presence of Ranghieri at the net but he utilised drop shots effectively to keep his team into the contention. But the Austrians could not prevent Ranghieri and Carambula from gaining another crown.
Seidl said, “They played a good block-defence. It was a pity that we could not do much after coming so close in the both the sets. Still the silver medal is a big consolation. We’re improving and hope to win the title soon.”
The Italians, who were fifth in Qatar last season, have been together since middle of the 2015 season and have had an impressive run with many top-10 finishes. Their one and only gold medal the FIVB World Tour came in the Antalya Open.
On the other hand, Huber and Seidl had teamed up since June 2009. But their achievements have not so notable. Their best was a bronze medal in the 2013 Fuzhou Open.
Huber and Seidl, who were also fourth during the Hague Grand Slam in 2013, were 17th in Doha in their previous appearance.
Injury blow to Germans
Sixth seeds Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor from Poland bagged the bronze medal without a serve. Defending champions and 10th seeds Markus Bockermann and Lars Fluggen from Germany decided to give walk-over to the rivals after the latter had suffered a knee injury.
Even in the semi-finals earlier in the day, the Germans called it quits late into their semi-finals against Huber and Seidl.
But the other semi-final had a roaring start when Ranghieri and Carambula tested Losiak and Kantor to the limit. As they claimed the opening set after subduing the Polish opponents at 27-25, they did not face much resistance in the second and cruised home at 21-4 to complete a fine triumph in 40 minutes.
 Alex Ranghieri & Adrian Carambula (ITA) beat
 Alexander Huber & Robin Seidl (AUT) 21-17 21-19 (37 mts)
 Bartosz Losiak & Piotr Kantor (POL)  w/o  Markus Bockermann & Lars Fluggen (GER)
 Alex Ranghieri & Adrian Carambula (ITA) beat 
Bartosz Losiak & Piotr Kantor (POL) 27-25 21-14 (40 mts)
 Alexander Huber & Robin Seidl (AUT) beat  Markus Bockermann & Lars Fluggen (GER) retd.