Marseille, France, July 26, 2009 - The single-elimination format worked perfectly for two Beach Volleyball pairs from the United States here Sunday as reigning Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers duplicated the efforts of compatriots Jen Kessy and April Ross in capturing the gold medals at the US$600,000 World Series 13 Grand Chelem.
After Kessy and Ross defeated Vassiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani of Greece 21-16 and 21-17 in the 42-minute women finale on the Plages Gaston Defferre centre court, the fourth-seeded Dalhausser and Rogers captured their first SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal this season by defeating seventh-seeded Adrian Gavira Collado and Pablo Herrera of Spain 21-8 and 21-14 in 35 minutes.
With both American teams victorious in Marseille for the first-time, the gold medal winners each shared the $43,000 first-place prizes. The silver medal finishers from Greece and Spain each split the $28,000 second-place prizes as both teams were competing together in their first-ever SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal matches.
â€œTodd has been telling me that the single-elimination format is very good,â€ said the 29-year old Dalhausser, who was named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the World Series 13 Grand Chelem. â€œI think the format gives you a chance to focus on the matches more and eliminate concerns about who you might play if you lose like in a double-elimination format.â€
Sundayâ€™s win by the Americans also avenged a quarter-final elimination setback to Gavira and Herrera two weeks ago in the Swiss Grand Slam where the Spaniards finished third. â€œThe young Spaniards are a very good team. We knew we had to play a lot better this time against them,â€ said Dalhausser. â€œWe played very well from the start of the match and kept the pressure on them. This is a good win for us.â€
In winning their seventh SWATCH FIVB World Tour gold medal match in 10 finales, Dalhausser and Rogers had defeated Gavira and Herrera in an elimination quarter-final match three weeks ago in Norway at the world championships where the Americans lost their bid for a second world title by losing in the semi-finals to place third in Stavanger.
Dalhausser and Rogers were only the second menâ€™s team from the United States to compete for a gold medal in the 15-year history of the Marseille event with Carl Henkel and Sinjin Smith placing second in 1996. The women were playing in Marseille for the 12th year as Kessy and Ross were the sixth USA winner on the Plages Gaston Defferre. Brazilians have won five times in Marseille and Germanyâ€™s Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau were the 2008 winners. Kessy and Ross eliminated Pohl and Rau in their first match Thursday.
In the bronze medal match, the top-seeded Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann started a new winning streak as Germany won its second bronze medal this season as the reigning world champions a scored a 21-13 and 23-21 in 45 minutes over 11th-seeded Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil of The Netherlands.
Brink and Reckermann saw their 25-match SWATCH FIVB World Tour winning streak end Saturday afternoon when Dalhausser and Rogers scored a 21-18 and 21-15 semi-final win in 48 minutes to send the Americans to the menâ€™s Sunday finale. Gavira and Herrera advanced with a 21-14 and 21-15 victory in 35 minutes over Nummerdor and Schuil.
Earlier Sunday, Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig won the womenâ€™s bronze medal for Germany by defeating Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli of Brazil 21-16 and 23-21 win in 46 minutes. Both German teams shared the $21,000 third-place prizes while the Brazilians and Dutch split $16,800 each.
The last of four SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slams will start Monday in Austria where Klagenfurt has been hosting an international Beach Volleyball event since 1999. Dalhausser and Rogers won the 2006 Austrian Grand Slam for their first-ever FIVB gold medal together to become the first American menâ€™s team to win in Klagenfurt.