Shanghai, China, May 4, 2011 — Reigning Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States and seven other teams remained unbeaten in the men’s field of the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Shanghai Jinshan Open after the first day of the double elimination Main Draw tournament on Wednesday.
Dalhausser/Rogers, who have won nine gold medals on last year's FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour as well as the season-opening Brazilia Open two weeks ago, eased past Chinese wild card Li Lei/Liu Bin 21-15 and 21-10 for an opening win in the 32-team Main Draw before holding off 16th seeds Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher of Switzerland 21-12, 19-21 and 15-13.
“We didn’t play our best, but we have more experience and deal with the key points better,” said Dalhausser. “Anyway, we won the game eventually.”
It was tied at 13-all when Dalhausser gave the Americans the match point with a smart dink shot and Rogers stopped ice Heuscher on the next play to secure the victory for them.
Two more American tandems joined Dalhausser/Rogers in the undefeated club, namely fourth seeds Nicholas Lucena/Matthew Fuerbringer and 11th seeds Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal.
Chinese fifth seeds Wu Penggen and Xu Linyin, bronze medallists in the Brazilia Open, also kept a clean sheet after scoring a dramatic come-from-behind win over 21st seeded Casey Jennings and Kevin Wong of the United States in a second round match of the winners’ bracket. Overcoming a sluggish 0-6 start and a 21-14 loss in the opening set, Wu/Xu recollected themselves to claim the next two sets 21-15 and 15-13.
“Their counter-attack tactics worked very well against us in the first set, it took us a while to adjust,” said Xu Linyin, who was born in the city of Shanghai.
“We are getting better and better,” added Wu, who missed a shot on the first match point but converted on the second to seal the victory. “We have to be careful with every team and every match since all the strong teams are here in Shanghai.”
Other unbeaten teams are Brazil’s second seeds Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, third seeds Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann of Germany, seventh seeds Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira Collado from Spain and Polish eighth seeds Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek.
Brazil’s Harley Marques, who had won three titles at the Shanghai Open with Salgado in the last four years, went to the lower bracket with his new partner Thiago Santos Barbosa following an opening loss to Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik Wednesday morning.
The Main Draw tournament of the US$380,000 Shanghai Open will continue on Thursday and Friday with the men’s and women’s medal matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday respectively. The gold medal teams will split US$30,000, the silver US$21,000 and the bronze US$15,000.
This tournament is the second of 12 double-gender events on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, which also includes three single-gender events for women, two single-gender events for men and a special 24-team Olympic test event in London August 9-14.