Serbia Montenegro Men's Open, Budva
From 26 May To 30 May 2004

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Winning start for Ricardo and Emanuel
Budva, Serbia and Montenegro, May 28, 2004 - Brazil's best, Ricardo and Emanuel, shook off the disappointment of a final match loss at the recent China Open in Lianyungang to get their Swatch - FIVB World Tour, Serbia & Montenegro Open off to a winning start on Friday.

The top seeds notched up a 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) win over local side Dejan Stanojcic and Slobodan Kovac on the centre court in Budva and in doing so, advanced to the next round of the competition's main draw.

"Every tournament is a different story especially when you are playing in the first match against a team you don't know," Emanuel stated post match. "It's always hard to be ready for the first game of a tournament. We had a few shaky moments in the first set but we did well."

Asked if the surprise defeat to Spanish outfit Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera in the final of the China Open had affected team confidence, Emanuel stated,"Not at all because we know right now we are not in our best shape and we are trying to be ready for the Olympics so we have two months to be ready. We see every tournament as a step towards the Olympics. We are confident of playing well, that's the first thing we have our minds focused on, and if we play well we will have the chance to win here."

For Serbia and Montenegro star Slobodan Kovac the experience of playing against the world's best was part of a learning process both for his team and for the people of his country. "The other team is the best in the world now and it's very difficult to play against them," said Kovac. "We played okay in the first set and thought we might have had some possibilites in the second but afterwards the difference was quite noticable," he continued. "I have only seen these guys on television before today. Maybe they didn't play the best this morning but perhaps that was because it was the first game of the day."

"Our ambition is to play well in this tournament and improve as a team for future tournaments. The most important thing here is that the people get to see and recognise what Beach Volleyball is and that they realise they have some very good teams representing their country."