Men's competition, Gstaad
From 16 June To 20 June 2004

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Brazil, Germany & Switzerland Lead First-round Winners
GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, June 18, 2004 - Four teams from Brazil, and three tandems each from Germany and host Switzerland won opening matches here Friday in the men's US$360,000 1to1 Energy Open.

Led by top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, Brazil posted a perfect 4-0 mark, including a 27-25 and 21-17 win by 24th-seeded Fabio Magalhães/Paulo Emilio Silva over ninth-seeded Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard of the United States.

Other first-round Brazilian winners were the teams of fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran/Marcio Araujo and fifth-seeded Franco Neto/Tande Ramos. Benjamin and Marcio Araujo are the defending 1to1 Energy Open champions after defeating Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany in the finals.

Dieckmann and Reckermann, who won the European Championships last Sunday, continued their winning ways here Friday morning along fellow Germans 10th-seeded Andreas Scheuerpflug/Christoph Dieckmann and 27th-seeded Niklas Rademacher/David Klemperer, who upset sixth-seeded Julien Prosser and mark Williams of Australia 21-18 and 21-15.

Switzerland won three of its five opening matches Friday. Second-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel, who placed third here last June, won their first-round match over a team from the Netherlands. Other host country winners were the seventh-seeded Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) and eighth-seeded Sascha Heyer and Markus Egger.

Estonia's Kristjan Kais and Rivo Vesik, who had to qualify for the 32-team Main Draw Thursday, won their opening match Friday by scoring a 21-14 and 21-19 win over 13th-seeded Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger of the United States, who placed fourth in Puerto Rico last week. Kais and Vesik placed fourth earlier this season in the Serbia and Montenegro Open.

With the win, the Estonians improved their Olympic-qualifying point total. Each additional win will contribute 36 additional points to their total. Kais and Vesik enter this week's event with 794 Olympic qualifying points and trail Peter Gartmayer and Robert Nowotny of Austria by 80 points.

The Austrians, who lost their opening match to 16th-seeded Canyon Whitmarsh and Matt Fuerbringer of the United States, currently rank 22nd for the final spot in the men's Beach Volleyball competition at Athens Games. Host Greece and a team from the continent of Africa will fill the last two berths in the 24-team Olympic competition.

The men's Main Draw continues Saturday with 18 matches to determine the "final four" teams for Sunday's semi-finals. Sunday's finalists will be competing for the $27,000 first-place prize. The 1to1 Energy Open is the first of four-straight events in Europe before the July 11 Olympic-qualifying deadline. The process continues next week in Germany.