In Krakow’s extraordinary Market Square, a triumph of art, sculpture and architecture, from tonight there is one more small, great masterpiece. It was signed by Carolina Orsi, protagonist of a sensational match, and Giorgia Marchetti, solid and tactically impeccable in the challenge against the girls coached by Juanjo Gutierrez.
Yes, for the second time on the day of the EG2023 finals – after Pappacena-Sussarello’s bronze medal against Canovas-Martinez – Italy puts Spain and its very young phenomena underneath, the new generation that – there is no doubt – will be the protagonists of great international padel in the coming years.
Gold to Italy, then, after a battle that ended in 2 hours and 50 minutes (even an hour and ten in the third set) with the score of 6/4, 4/6, 7/5, which in any case gives credit to the two Marta, Barrera and Caparros, protagonists of a great match until the last ’15’.
The first set was balanced and it was immediately a battle. Each ’15’ was a duel and the match reached 3-3 with the feeling that the Italian pair had the decisive blow in the bag, which would arrive shortly afterwards. And it was in the game representing the most dangerous turn, the seventh, that Orsi and Marchetti struck the winning blow, snatching service from the Spaniards and taking a 4-3 lead. Marcela Ferrari’s girls then held serve and the Spaniards did likewise. At 5-4, the challenge was very tight with Barrera bringing home a ball to reopen the set, but a great play by Orsi brought things back to even.
At that point the Italians got the set ball and converted it thanks to a Caparros error that ‘called’ Carolina Orsi’s scream of joy. And on to the second set. The Azzurri had a break point in the first game, but did not exploit it and suffered a run of three points in a row by the Spaniards, who held the lead until 4-2 when Italy put it back on track by counter-breaking. From here on, the emotions were not to be counted and on 4-3 the Italians cancelled three break points before signing 4-4. And here was the big chance with a ball to take the lead 5-4 that Orsi-Marchetti did not exploit. From a possible 5-4, the Italians went under, and with a break the Spaniards closed the set 6-4. And this time the scream came from Caparros.
The third set, if possible, was even harder fought with three breaks in a row in the first three games and Italy ahead 2-1. It went on point to point until the Italians failed to exploit the ball to go 5-3 on their own serve, while the Spaniards, on the fourth break point again in the seventh game, made it 4-4. It came down to 5-5 and here was the turning point for the Italians, who were cloaked in gold: break, serve to nil and 7-5 which meant a gold medal for Italy against the Spaniards. And this time the scream was double, from Marchetti and Orsi.
With the medal around her neck, Giorgia Marchetti struggled to speak: “I have no words, it is an incredible motion to bring a gold medal to Italy. I am overjoyed”. She hugs Carolina, who says: ‘We won with our hearts, fighting until the end. We always believed in it, we deserved it. In the decisive moments we pulled out some winning shots and then we were cool to close the match as soon as we had the chance”