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

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Switzerland's Heuscher & Kobel Upset Top-Seeded Brazilians
GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, June 20, 2004 - There were a lot of smiling faces here Sunday morning in the Alps community as host Switzerland advanced a team to the finals of the 1to1 Energy Open as Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel upset top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil in the first semi-final match.

With a 21-19, 19-21 and 15-13 in 57 minutes, the second-seeded Heuscher and Kobel will play either third-seeded Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann Germany or fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo of Brazil Sunday afternoon in the gold medal match where the winning team splits $27,000 for placing first.

"Outside of being on the podium in the Athens Olympic Games, a gold medal finish here would be the highlight of our careers," said Heuscher after the match. "We didn't do anything different today against them. We played hard and remained focused throughout the match. They are the best team in the world and beating them here today was special."

Heuscher and Kobel have now won three of five meetings the past two seasons with the Brazilians, but Emanuel and Ricardo had won the two matches this season in the finals in Brazil and last month in the semi-finals at the Serbia and Montenegro Open. Sunday's win came exactly a year from the Swiss' first win over Emanuel and Ricardo in a pool play match in Gstaad."

"I know we have beaten them before, but you must remember those previous wins were in earlier rounds of a tournament," said Kobel. "This is the first time we have won a semi-final in an open FIVB event. When we advanced to the finals in March at Salvador, the Germans forfeited the semi-final match."

Heuscher and Kobel are playing in their 58th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event together. There three previous tournament titles were in challenger events in Lausanne (2000 and 2002) and Greece (2000). The Swiss pair placed third here last season behind the two teams that are playing in Sunday's second semi-final.

Dieckmann and Reckermann, won the 2004 European Championships last weekend in Germany, lost the 2003 Gstaad gold medal match to Benjamin and Marcio Araujo 23-25, 21-13 and 15-10. Heuscher and Kobel lost to the Germans 21-18 and 21-18 in Saturday's fourth-round of the winner's bracket.

With the setback, Emanuel and Ricardo failed to advance to a gold medal match for the first-time in their last eight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events. Playing together for the sixth-time on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour this season, Emanuel and Ricardo had won stops in Brazil, Serbia and Portugal before skipping last week's event in Puerto Rico.

The 1to1 Energy Open is the first of four-straight mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The United States' Misty May and Kerri Walsh won the women's title by defeated Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede in the gold medal match Saturday afternoon.