Shanghai, China, May 7, 2011 – Top seeds and reigning Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers beat eleventh seeded Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in straight sets in a worldwide live televised all-American gold medal match to win back-to-back men’s FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour title at the Shanghai Jinshan Open here on Saturday.
“We did not expect to win back-to-back gold medals and it’s only the start of the season, so it’s a pretty good feeling,” said Rogers after claiming the 21-18 and 24-22 victory in 44 minutes in front of a packed stadium to finish the Shanghai Open with a 6-0 record and improve to 12-0 for the 2011 season. “It was a pretty good match and we were playing our compatriots. We have played each other a lot of times and we know each other very well, I hope the crowd enjoyed it.”
Trailing 16-11 in the second set, Dalhausser/Rogers ran off four points in a row to make it 16-15 before saving two set points and then taking the lead at 21-20. Gibb/Rosenthal managed to withstand two match points, but Dalhausser converted on the third with a solid block against Gibb to end the match and extend their FIVB Swatch World Tour match victory streak to 35 straight.
“I saw the situation when it was 16-11," Rogers added, who now has 19 career FIVB gold medals with Dalhausser. "We weren’t playing very well and I think they were playing quite well. Then we switched to short serves and they made an error and Phil had a block too and I got a dig and all of a sudden it’s a one-point game and it is anyone’s match. Fortunately we won it at the end.”
Dalhausser/Rogers, who 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, split the top prize of $30,000.
“We still have a long way to go. It’s a good start and we couldn't do much better but we’ll see what happens. It still a very long season ahead and everyone is looking forward to the FIVB Swatch World Championships in Rome in June” said Dalhausser.
Dalhausser/Rogers also improved their head-to-head lead against Gibb/Rosenthal to 43-12 while Gibb and Rosenthal could be satisfied with the silver, the first podium finish for them since a bronze at the Myslowice Open in May 2009.
Earlier on Saturday, Germany third seeds Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann rallied past seventh seeded Spaniards Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira Collado 14-21, 22-20 and 15-10 in 52 minutes to take home the bronze medal and split $15,000.
“It’s always great to win a medal. We had a bad loss in the semifinal, but we still had a chance to win a medal,” said Reckermann. “We tried everything we could and I am happy that we made it.”
Herrera/Gavira, who suffered another full sets loss to Dalhausser/Rogers in the semifinals Saturday, came in fourth.
The $380,000 Shanghai Open will conclude on Sunday with the women’s semifinals and medal matches. The gold medal team will split $30,000, the silver $21,000 and the bronze $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.