Beijing, China, June 10, 2011 – Second seeds Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego of Brazil stormed into the men’s semifinals of the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Beijing Grand Slam with their fifth straight win at the Chaoyang Park on Friday while Beijing Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser withdrew from the quarterfinals with Todd Rogers due to an ankle injury.
Alison/Emanuel overwhelmed fifth seeds Eric Koreng and David Klemperer of Germany 21-15 and 21-7 in the first quarterfinal at the center court.
“It’s great to come back to the Olympic center court, the atmosphere was so good and it made us play the best,” Emanuel, who won the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympic Games three years ago with Ricardo said. “I hope to bring back the energy of the Beijing Olympics to tomorrow’s semifinals.”
Alison/Emanuel, who snapped Rogers/Dalhausser's
nine-tournament winning streak connecting 2010 and 2011 to capture their first FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour title together two weeks ago in Prague, will take on 19th seeds Jefferson Bellaguarda and Patrick Heuscher of Switzerland in Saturday’s semifinals.
“We are in a very good mood to play volleyball, we are very focused,” Emanuel added. “Every match is different from the others. We played good today and tomorrow we need to be more focused in the semifinal.”
Emanuel felt sorry for the withdrawal of Dalhausser. “I like to play with the best teams. I don’t want any other teams to get injured during the tournament. Because it’s very tough, we live from this and we work so hard to get into the tournament like the Grand Slam. Unfortunately, it just happened and I am very sad with their problems.”
Entering the knockout stage as the third finisher of Pool J with a 1-2 round robin win-loss record, Rogers/Dalhausser eliminated Russia’s 15th seeds Yaroslav Koshkarev and Konstantin Semenov 21-16 and 21-19 and Chinese sixth seeds Wu Penggen and Xu Linyin 21-13 and 21-16 to make the top eight.
However, Dalhausser sprained his left ankle diving for a save when the American duo led 9-5 in the second set with the Chinese. He came back from after a short break to finish the match, but was forced out of the quarterfinal match against
Germany’s fourth seeds Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann and his appearance in the upcoming World Championships in Rome is also in jeopardy.
“It's definitely not 100 per cent, but the World Championships comes every two years. I have got to play, I mean we’ll see what happens,” said Dalhausser.
Wu and Xu, the host's only medal hope in the men’s competition, were disappointed with their first loss of the tournament following three straight round robin wins.
“We didn’t play very well, I think we should learn from this match and make better preparation for the World Championships in Rome,” said Wu.
Swiss pair Bellaguarda/Heuscher continued their surprising run at the Grand Slam as they upset Brazil’s eighth seeds Benjamin Insfran and Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Spain’s tenth seeds Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrian Gavira Collado to secure their first top four finish together on the World Tour.
In the last match of the day, Poland’s 24th seeds Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek outlasted 16th seeds Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil from the Netherlands 22-20, 19-21 and 15-12 to set up a semifinal clash with Brink/Reckermann.
The $600,000 Beijing Grand Slam is the first FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Grand Slam of the year with the Chinese capital welcoming back international beach volleyball for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games.
The inaugural Beijing Grand Slam is the third 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 to 14.