FIVB Beach Volelyball World Tour

Fuzhou Open | 22 - 27 avril 2014


Press release

Italy’s Nicolai and Lupo grab first FIVB World Tour title

Paolo Nicolai (R) spikes the ball in the men's final at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open on April 26, 2014 in China

Fuzhou, China, April 26, 2014 - Italy's Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo claimed their first ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event title when they beat Olympic silver medalist Alison Cerutti and new partner Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil 2-1 (21-17, 16-21, 15-13) in the final of the Fuzhou Open in China on Saturday.

Nicolai and Lupo, whose previous best World Tour result was the runner-up at the Beijing Grand Slam in 2012 and the Fuzhou Open in 2013, secured the gold after surviving an evenly balanced encounter against Alison and Bruno in rainy conditions.

The first set was a see-saw affair until 13-13. The Italian tandem nosed ahead following a string of excellent spikes and then took the initative on their first set point.

It was a similar situation at the start of the second set but Alison and Bruno took control after 5-5 before drawing level 1-1 in sets.

Brazil jumped to a 3-1 lead in the deciding set before Nicolai and Lupo reeled off five points to go ahead 6-3. After the scores were tied at 8-8, the Italians managed to regain a tiny lead and kept it throughout.

"(We won) One silver and one gold here, Fuzhou is really a lucky place for us," Nicolai said after the final. "For sure, next year we will come back."

Nicolai and Lupo will move to Shanghai next week for the first Grand Slam event on this season's FIVB World Tour.

"We are out to win every match, but I know it will be very difficult," said Nicolai, who was named the FIVB Most Improved Player in 2012.

"We are very focused on the Shanghai Grand Slam. No doubt today's victory is a huge boost to our confidence. I hope we can continue our good play," said Lupo.

In the morning, Nicolai and Lupo made light work of the semifinal against Jon Stiekema and Christiaan Varenhorst from the Netherlands, winning 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) in just 35 minutes.

Alison and Bruno's semifinal was against Latvia's Aleksandrs Smoilovs and Janis Smedins. After dropping the first set by a large margin, the Brazilian new pair upped their game in the second set and fought hard to book their spot in the final 2-1 (13-21, 23-21, 15-7).

"They (Smoilovs/Smedins) won the World Tour title last year, and they deserve all the credit for that. We knew the match gonna be very hard, so we're pretty happy for the victory," said Bruno.

Alison, who claimed silver at the London Olympics in 2012 with Emanuel Rego, and Bruno are the playing their first tournament together.

The bronze medal went to 12th seeds Stiekema and Varenhorst, who came from one set behind to defeat Smoilovs and Smedins 2-1 (17-21, 26-24, 16-14). It was Stiekema and Varenhorst's first podium finish in the FIVB World Tour series.

"We worked so hard and won the bronze, the first medal on the World Tour, so we'are really happy," said Stiekema. 

The last day of the Fuzhou Open will decide the Women’s Main Draw medallists on Sunday.

Fuzhou, capital of the Fujian province lies on the southeast coast of Chinese mainland and hosts the Open event for the second straight year.

In addition to the Fuzhou Open, two other stops are scheduled in China in 2014 on the FIVB international schedule: the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam (April 29 to May 4) and the FIVB Xiamen Open (October 7 to 12). All three are double-gender events.

Fuzhou Open Tournament Page


Fuzhou Open Tournament Notes


2014 Beach Volleyball Media Guide


Men’s results


Women’s results


Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

07.05.2014 17:00:18
USA's Kerri Walsh and April Ross answer fan questions

Lausanne, Switzerland, May 7, 2014 – The first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event of the year kicked off with a bang in Fuzhou, China, with a th... More...

28.04.2014 16:48:47
Ross and Walsh "know exactly what is required" - Natalie Cook

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 28, 2014 – Australian beach volleyball legend Natalie Cook looks back at the World Tour's first stop this year at the F... More...

28.04.2014 15:14:53
Chinese beach volleyball stars answer fan questions

Fuzhou, China, April 28, 2014 – New Chinese beach volleyball partners Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi made great strides at the first FIVB Beach Volleyball W... More...

27.04.2014 12:08:46
Walsh and Ross clinch Fuzhou Open gold

27.04.2014 10:50:13
Juliana makes successful comeback to FIVB World Tour

27.04.2014 05:27:36
Juliana and Antonelli to meet Walsh and Ross in women's final at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

26.04.2014 16:17:48
Netherland's Meeuwsen expected to return to FIVB World Tour in May

26.04.2014 13:55:43
Defending champs Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi on course for gold at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

25.04.2014 17:06:35
Samoilovs and Smedins through to semis at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

25.04.2014 16:32:39
Talita and Lima labor into second round knock-out phase at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

25.04.2014 12:14:46
Catch the action of the Fuzhou Open on FIVB Web TV

24.04.2014 14:47:00
Defending champ Xue and Xia stunned by Japanese qualifiers at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

24.04.2014 12:07:28
Emanuel and Pedro progress to knock out stage at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

23.04.2014 15:41:35
Plavins and Solovejs upset defending champs in Fuzhou

23.04.2014 13:16:13
Laboureur and Sude storm into Fuzhou women's Main Draw

22.04.2014 18:05:19
Walkenhorst and Ludwig aiming to take final step

22.04.2014 17:01:00
German pair Laboureur and Sude top seeds at Fuzhou Open Women's Qualification Tournament

22.04.2014 11:38:34
Salvetti/Daguerre lead eight teams into men's Main Draw at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open

21.04.2014 20:43:00
Fuzhou Open starts Tuesday with men's qualifying

21.04.2014 15:20:09
Fuzhou Opens marks start of record-breaking season

20.04.2014 23:55:20
2014 FIVB World Tour debuts with Fuzhou Open

20.04.2014 17:36:14
Phil Dalhausser looks to climb back to the top in beach volleyball

20.04.2014 10:42:25
Fuzhou gets ready for first FIVB beach volleyball event of the year

19.04.2014 09:43:34
Fuzhou Open Q&A: Get to know China's beach volleyball stars

18.04.2014 10:41:08
Venezuelans back in tandem for Fuzhou Open

17.04.2014 17:59:46
Thailand and Iran claim gold at latest Asian Beach Volleyball Tour event

15.04.2014 17:27:05
Alison and Bruno continue impressive form

15.04.2014 16:58:05
FIVB World Tour champs hitting top form

14.04.2014 18:21:12
Zurich glory for Swiss and German duos

13.04.2014 11:20:07
Top New Zealand pair out to boost beach volleyball’s profile before taking on world

10.04.2014 15:04:34
FIVB stars on show as Swiss Tour gets underway

02.04.2014 21:27:50
Juliana back in business as Fuzhou kicks-off World Tour

24.03.2014 12:47:30
Juliana makes mark before World Tour return

30.01.2014 10:04:59
2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour ready for more highlights in record-breaking year