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

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Delight for Puerto Rico, despair for Berger-Doppler
Budva, Serbia and Montenegro, May 28, 2004 - In a match that was the perfect advertisement for Beach Volleyball, Raul E. Papaleo and his teammate Ramon Hernandez of Puerto Rico battled to victory over Argentine legends Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde by two sets to one (21-11, 18-21, 16-18) in Friday's action at the 2004 Swatch, FIVB World Tour Open event in Budva.

The delight of the Puerto Rican pair contrasted sharply with the despair of Austria'a Clemens Doppler and Nikki Berger who exited the tournament following a 2-1 (21-19, 23-25, 16-14) defeat to Norway's Tarjei Skarlund and Kjel Arne Goranson.

Swinging first one way, and then the other, the remarkable attraction that was the encounter between Papaleo-Hernandez and Baracetti-Conde had scores of people looking on in awe as the battle progressed late into the evening. With the final set finishing 18-16, both sides appeared exhausted, however, both received the thunderous applause from the onlookers with gratitude.

"At the beginning we started a little bit slow," a heavily perspiring Hernandez stated afterwards. "We picked up the pace in the second set and we kept playing strong in the third and in the end we made the plays we needed to make," the 31-year-old added.

Visibly thrilled with this famous win and with the progress the team has been making recently Hernandez said, "We started last year with zero points and since then we have beaten really good teams. For us to beat teams like Conde-Baracetti is huge for us. We hope to keep playing the way that we are playing. We are improving as the world tour is progressing and hopefully we can win a couple of matches tomorrow."

For team Berger-Doppler, exiting the competition at such an early stage proved devastating. Tarjei Skarlund and Kjel Arne Goranson of Norway inflicted the defeat on the Austrians by two sets to one (21-19, 23-25, 16-14) and the Norwegians are now set for a clash with the aforementioned team from Puerto Rico.