Men's competition, Klagenfurt
From 28 July To 1 August 2004

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Austrians Net Best A1 Grand Slam Finish
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 29, 2004 - For the past five seasons, Peter Gartmayer and Robert Nownoty needed to know how it would feel to win their first two matches in the A1 Grand Slam before their family, friends, friends and the assembled media.

Well, the ninth-seeded Austrians got a taste of a "winner's life" here Thursday as they scored a pair of victories during the opening two rounds of the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam, presented by Nokia. With the two wins over teams from Canada and Switzerland, Gartmayer and Nownoty are guaranteed their best-ever finish on the Lake Wörthersee waterfront courts.

"We are not going to be satisfied with finishing ninth," said Gartmayer after being asked about taking the $8,250 paycheck and going home. "We are focused on bettering our previous five finishes in Klagenfurt. Everything we do now is great, but we still are looking to win our next two matches to become the first Austrian team in Sunday's semi-finals."

After defeating eighth-seeded Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger of Switzerland 24-22, 17-21 and 15-12, Gartmayer and Nownoty now play 32nd-seeded Jochem DeGruijter and Gijs Ronnes Friday morning as the Netherlands pair seeks their fourth-straight win this weekend over Olympic-bound teams.

DeGruijter and Ronnes, who had to win two qualification matches Wednesday, scored wins over top-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland (19-21, 23-21 and 15-12) and 17th-seeded Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard of the United States (21-19, 15-21 and 15-11) Thursday.

Both of the Netherlands' victims are teams that have qualified for Athens. DeGruijter and Ronnes also defeated Ramon Hernandez and Raul Papaleo Wednesday to advance to the Main Draw. The Puerto Ricans have also qualified for the Olympics.

Gartmayer and Nowotny, who are competing in their 47th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event, posted a fourth earlier this season in South Africa where they won their first four matches before dropping their last two to collect a $11,000 pay check from the Cape Town event..

Also winning both of their matches Thursday were the German tandems of fifth-seeded Markus Dieckmann/Jonas Reckerman and Christoph Dieckmann/Andreas Scheuerpflug, Brazilian teams of second-seeded Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos and fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran/Marcio Araujo, Cubans' 19th-seeded Francisco Alvarez/Juan Rossell and 23rd-seeded Julien Prosser/Mark Williams from Australia.

Emanuel and Ricardo play Prosser and Williams to open play Thursday while Benjamin and Marcio Araujo, the A1 Grand Slam defending champions, face Markus Dieckmann and Reckermann. The Cubans play Christoph Dieckmann and Scheuerpflug in another winner's bracket match.

All 32 teams in the men's Main Draw are still competing for the $40,500 first-place prize as Friday's schedule will open with two rounds of matches in the contender's bracket. The men's final is Sunday when the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour concludes its pre-Olympic schedule.