Men's competition, Marseille
From 14 July To 18 July 2004

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SWATCH Marseille Final Features Brazil & Switzerland
MARSEILLE, FRANCE, July 17, 2004 - Returning to the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour for the first-time in three weeks, third-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland continued their winning ways here Saturday by defeating Todd Rogers and Sean Scott from the United States in the second World Series 13 men's semi-final.

With a 21-16 and 21-19 win in 46 minutes over the 14th-seeded Rogers and Scott, Heuscher and Kobel will now face fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo of Brazil in Sunday's gold medal match. The Brazilians advanced to the finals in the US$560,000 event with a 21-18 and 21-19 win over fifth-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina in 42 minutes.

"It is good to be back playing," said Heuscher, who had to forfeit a pair of matches in last month's Berlin Grand Slam when Kobel's calf injury forced them from the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event. "We like to play. Maybe the two weeks off helped us. The tour has really been pressured-packed this season."

Sunday's gold medal match-up is not the best for Heuscher and Kobel, who have won only once in eight meetings against the Brazilians since 2002. "They are very athletic and skilled players," Heuscher added. "In fact, we don't like playing them. We just don't match up well against them."

The two teams have not played this season due to Marcio Araujo missing the first three events due to an appendix operation and Kobel not playing in the last two events in Norway and Mallorca when the Brazilians were back in their South American homes."

After losing six-straight matches to Benjamin and Marcio Araujo, the Swiss' only win since 2003 was a 19-21, 21-19 and 15-12 decision last July in Stavanger, Norway. The Brazilians won the last meeting between the two teams last August in an Austrian semi-final in Klagenfurt.

Heuscher and Kobel will be playing in their third gold medal match this season. Brazil's Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos defeated the Swiss in the Salvador final in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour season opener.

Heuscher and Kobel gained their first international "open" title together in the Swiss Alps community of Gstaad last month where they defeated Germany' Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckerman in the final. In the next event in Berlin, the Swiss won their first two matches before Kobel withdrew due to the calf injury.

Sunday's World Series 13 action will also feature the women's finals where the United States has already secured the top two spots on the podium. Second-seeded Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder will play fourth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan for the $41,500 first-place prize. The men will be playing for the same prize money after the women's gold medal match.