The top two couples in the ranking faced each other in the final of the Malaga Open 2023, Ari Sanchez and Paula Josemaria against Gemma Triay and Marta Ortega.
The number 1’s arrived to their territory, to the World Padel Tour, the circuit in which they are making a difference. However, they did so after two consecutive defeats in the finals of the Italy Major and the Madrid P1 of Premier Padel. Their rivals, Gemma Triay and Marta Ortega, took advantage of the Rome tournament to win their first title by beating Sanchez and Josemaria.
But as I said, World Padel Tour is a different story. There the players from Reus and Caceres are, for the moment, practically infallible. They have the number 1 ranking between their eyebrows and the countdown to achieve it is getting closer and closer to happen.
The match started with Ari and Paula dominating, who quickly made their intentions clear and took the lead thanks to a break. After seven games, the scoreboard showed a 5-2. They had their serve at 5-3 to close the first set, but as it has happened to them in the last weeks, they didn’t finish their job. They got a break that could have cost them dearly. However, when Gemma and Marta had the chance to draw the match, the number 1’s took advantage to break and take the first set 6-4.
In the second set, the score was even and the scoreboard reflected parity, at least that was the case until the fifth game. In the sixth game, Sanchez and Josemaria broke their opponents’ serve to take a 4-2 lead. They held their serve and suddenly found themselves in the same situation as in the first set, 5-2, as if it was déjà vu. Gemma and Marta won their serve and put the pressure back on Ari and Paula, who had the chance to close out the match.
For a moment, the ghosts appeared. Gemma and Marta were 15-30 up at the break, putting their opponents in trouble. But the climax came with the golden point. Now Ari Sanchez and Paula Josemaría won it and closed out the final of the Malaga Open 6-3, 6-4.
With this one, Ari Sanchez and Paula Josemaria have now won 10 titles in 2023, just two away from equalling Gemma Triay and Ale Salazar’s record. Before reaching this milestone, the players will enjoy a break in August to disconnect a bit and come back with their batteries charged for the rest of the season.
The next tournament will be in Tampere with the Finland Padel Open, which will take place from 26th August to 3rd September.