Brasília, Brazil, April 23, 2011 — In a rematch of last year’s gold medal match, top-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers of the United States defeated Brazil’s fifth-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego Saturday in the internationally-televised men’s finale that concluded the $380,000 Brasília Open, the season-opening event on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar. Dalhausser/Rogers defeated their Brazilian rivals in two sets, 21-18, 21-13 in 35 minutes.
With the victory, USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers won their 18th FIVB gold medal in their 22nd gold medal match appearance out of 38 FIVB Swatch World Tour events together. Alison/Emanuel, who also lost to the Americans on Thursday in Round 4 of the winner’s bracket in three sets, claimed their fourth silver medal and seventh overall medal in 13 tournaments as a team.
Top-seeded Dalhausser/Rogers are the reigning Olympic champions and FIVB Swatch World champions who won nine gold medals on last year’s FIVB Swatch World Tour and played in their 30th final four. Alison/Emanuel, a new team the past two seasons made it to their fourth gold medal match and ninth final four on the FIVB Swatch World Tour.
Dalhausser/Rogers extended their FIVB men’s record match winning streak to 29 playing in their 16th consecutive FIVB Swatch World Tour final four. The Americans also increased their lead in the head-to-head matchup against Alison/Emanuel to 8-1.
The $380,000 Brasília Open featured both men’s and women’s competition in Brazil’s capital. Nearly 140 teams from 35 countries.competed the season-opening event of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour that started here for the third straight season. The winning teams in each gender shared $30,000 first-place prizes, second place $21,000. In Friday’s women’s gold medal match, Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva beat USA’s Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011, the international beach volleyball circuit the Competition was held on The Esplanada dos Ministérios in Quadrante 1 in Brazil’s capital city. Sunday’s finale was the 49th FIVB Swatch World Tour men’s gold medal match featuring Brazilian and American teams. With the victory USA now leads 25-24 in this gold medal rivalry.
With the standing room only crowd at the Brasília Open center court cheering feverishly to start the match, Rogers scored first for the USA and then the teams battled back and forth through 13 ties with the last one at 17-17 before Dalhausser scored two consecutive points on blocks of Alison and after a Brazil time out, Dalhausser scored on a cross court kill that went by Emanuel. Alison gave his team a point at 18 on a kill through Dalhausser’s block attempt and then Rogers finished the set on a slap shot to the right corner.
In the second set, Alison started with a kill off Rogers for a point but then the Americans ran off five straight points on two Dalhausser blocks and three errors by the Brazilians, building up leads of 11-5, 13-6 and after Alison/Emanuel closed the gap to 13-18, Dalhausser had a kill followed by a Rogers kill off Emanuel and ended the match on two more blocks by Dalhausser. Dalhausser had 11 blocks for points in the match, including eight in the second set.
Rogers commented following his team’s match: “We love playing in Brazil, the fans are the best in the world and the Brazilian teams are the toughest to beat match in and match out. We played them two days ago in a match that turned out to be much closer, but they are a great team and they made more errors than we did and that turned out to be the difference.”
In last year’s gold medal match in the Brasília Open, Alison/Emanuel lost to Dalhausser/Roger, 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 appeared in his record 100th career FIVB gold medal match, and has won a record 69 FIVB gold medals, was 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 afterwards, “We had a great week here in Brasília. We played at our best level, which makes us very happy, especially because of the one year of preparation for an Olympic spot. I want to thank Rogers and Dalhausser for coming here and playing against us because it raises our level. Today they were able to neutralize our game, especially our offense.”
In Sunday’s bronze medal match held on another jam packed Brasília center court stadium prior to the championship final, China’s 10th-seeded Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu defeated third-seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos of Brazil 21-17, 16-21 and 51-10 in 52 minutes. It was a rematch of their winner’s bracket quarterfinal match on Thursday that Wu/Xu won in three sets by near-identical scores to the bronze medal match. The bronze medalists earned $15,000 while Marcio Araujo/Ricardo collected $11,200 for their fourth place placement.
Wu/Xu now lead the series between the two teams 3-1. For Wu/Xu, the win earned them their 12th FIVB Swatch World Tour medal, including their fourth bronze medal in their 14th final four appearance.
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 was the 33rd men’s event and 28th women’s tournament on the FIVB Swatch World Tour held in Brazil. This was also the 13th time Brazil was the site of a season-opening event on the international circuit.
After the Brasília Open, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour continues with a single-gender event (women) in Sanya, China next week starting Tuesday. Following Sanya will be a double-gender event in Shanghai, China (May 2-8). Myslowice, Poland (women) and Prague, Czech Republic (men) will then host single-gender events on May 17-22. After a two-week break, Beijing, China hosts the first grand slam event on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour on June 6-11 followed the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Championships in Rome (June 13-19).