Men's competition, Stare Jablonki
From 21 July To 25 July 2004

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Changes Atop Mazury Open Main Draw Bracket
STARE JABLONKI, POLAND, July 23, 2004 - When Main Draw play began here Friday morning in the US$180,000 Mazury Open, presented by the Hotel Anders, it marked maybe the first-time that Brazilian teams were not atop the seedings in back-to-back SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events.

For the second-straight week on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, a team from Europe has filled the No. 1 spot as Switzerland's Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel started Friday's action atop the bracket replacing Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany, who were the top seeds last week in Marseille, France.

"That's pretty amazing that a team from Brazil is not seeded first in a tournament," said Kobel as he walked to the sands courts below the Hotel Anders. "I think our consistency this season got us there along with Ricardo's ankle injury a few week's ago. We'll take the seeding, but now we have to protect it."

Heushcer and Kobel, who have captured a gold medal along with two silvers in their last five events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, won their opening match here Friday by defeating 32nd-seeded Krzysztof Hajbowicz and Piotr Glogowski of Poland 21-13 and 25-23.

"There are no easy matches on this tour anymore," Heuscher said before the seedings were officially announced Thursday evening. "First-round matches get harder-and-harder as a season progresses. And when you are one of the top seeded teams, all the up-and-coming teams have a shot at you early in a tournament. You can not relax for a second."

An injury to Ricardo Santos created the change in the seeding order as Brazilian sprained his right ankle two weeks ago in his second match in the Mallorca Open with Emanuel Rego. Ricardo and Emanuel had to forfeit their next two matches on the Mediterranean island as the team did not participate together last week in France.

Heuscher and Kobel hope not to follow in Dieckmann and Reckermann's footsteps as the German's placed seventh in Marseille Grand Slam. The Swiss play 17th-seeded Fabio Magalhães and Paulo Emilio Silva of Brazil in their second match Friday with the winner meeting a team from either Germany or the Netherlands Saturday morning.

Emanuel and Ricardo dropped to the No. 2 seed this week and scored a 21-18 and 21-18 win over 31st-seeded Oleksandra Dyachenko and Olesksiy Kulinich of the Ukraine. Emanuel placed 17th last week in France with Pedro Grael Brazão while Ricardo stayed at their Portugal training base in Porto to rehab his right ankle. The Brazilians play 15th-seeded Francisco Alvarez and Juan Rosell of Cuba in their second match Friday.

Prior to the German's No. 1 seed last week, the last time a Brazilian team was not atop the seedings in a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event was at the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia where 2001 FIVB World Champions Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina were the top team.