Brasília, Brazil, April 22, 2011—Following Friday’s men’s semifinal matches, Saturday’s gold medal match will be a rematch of last year as top-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States will meet Brazil’s fifth-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego. Saturday morning’s internationally-televised men’s gold medal match will conclude the US$380,000 Brasília Open, the season-opening event on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar.
To advance to the gold medal match, USA’s Dalhausser/Roger defeated Brazil’s third-seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos in straight sets 21-17, 21-13 in 37 minutes to earn their 22nd gold medal match appearance out of 38 FIVB Swatch World Tour events together. Alison/Emanuel, who lost to the Americans on Thursday in Round 4 of the winner’s bracket in three sets, won a morning contender’s match in the double-elimination tournament and came back in their semifinal to defeat China’s 10th-seeded Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu, 21-16, 21-16 in 35 minutes.
Top-seeded Dalhausser/Rogers are the reigning Olympic champions who won nine gold medals on last year’s FIVB Swatch World Tour and are playing in their 38th event together on the international circuit and have won 17 gold medals and are playing in their 30th final four. Alison/Emanuel are playing in their 13th event together on the FIVB Swatch World Tour and have made it to their fourth gold medal match and are playing in their ninth final four with three silver medals and four bronze.
The US$380,000 Brasília Open features both men’s and women’s competition in Brazil’s capital. Nearly 140 teams from 35 countries have been part of the season-opening event of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour began here for the third straight season. The winning teams in each gender will share $30,000 first-place prizes. In Friday’s women’s gold medal match, Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva defeated USA’s Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011, the international beach volleyball circuit is starting with the US$380,000 Brasília Open for the third consecutive season. Competition ends Saturday on The Esplanada dos Ministérios in Quadrante 1.
USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers, the defending event and FIVB Swatch World Tour season champions, had a relatively easy two-set win Friday against Marcio Araujo/Ricardo and their victory increased their men’s record to 28 straight FIVB Swatch World Tour match wins. After Thursday’s victory, Dalhausser/Rogers have a 7-1 career won-loss record heading into Friday’s gold medal match with Alison/Emanuel.
“Rogers commented following his team’s match, “It is hot, very hot. I think that this affected them (Ricardo and Márcio Araujo) more than us, because they played a game earlier today. I think that this made the difference. We were tired, but we had more energy. They were dying. The strategy was just make them work really hard to get every point. They had a lot of chances, but so did we. They did not convert, we converted more. We have played Alison and Emanuel a lot of times. They know us and we know them. Either way, it’s going to be hot. It will be a hard game tomorrow, but should be fun.”
Before their semifinal win over China’s Wu/Xu, Alison/Emanuel started their way back to the gold medal match Friday morning by defeating Germany’s defending FIVB Swatch World Champions Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann of Germany, 21-11, 21-13 in 36 minutes.
In last year’s gold medal match in Brasília, Alison/Emanuel lost to Dalhausser in gold medal match, 21-16 and 21-12 in 38 minutes and on Thursday they were beaten by the Americans in a three-set, 53-minute match, 21-16, 19-21 and 11-15.
On Saturday, the veteran Emanuel, 38, who will appear in his record 100th career FIVB gold medal match, and he has won a record 69 FIVB gold medals. He will be attempting to win a gold medal with his fifth different partner in Alison. He is also the FIVB career earnings leader with over $2,000,000.
Emanuel commented after his semifinal win, “Wow, how the time has passed by. To reach my 100th gold medal match in the FIVB Swatch World Tour is not easy for any athlete. I’m very happy not only for reaching another final, but to have good enough conditioning playing on the national tour to win. Alison and I have been training hard and I’m very motivated to make 2011 a great year.”
Marcio Araujo/Ricardo advanced to their semifinal match with Dalhausser/Rogers by defeating USA’s fourth-seeded Nick Lucena/Matt Fuerbringer Friday morning in three sets, 21-18, 20-22 and 15-8 in 56 minutes. Germany’s Brink/Reckermann and USA’s Fuerbringer/Lucena ended the Brasília Open with fifth place finishes and each team will split $9,100 prizes.
Brazil has staged a FIVB Swatch World Tour event every year since the start of the international series for men in 1987 and women in 1992. This is the 33rd men’s event and 28th women’s tournament on the FIVB Swatch World Tour held in Brazil. This is also the 13th time Brazil has been the site of a season-opening event on the international circuit.