Gstaad, Switzerland, July 8, 2011—With the last of three guaranteed pool play matches gone and the first round of single-elimination bracket play eliminating half of the main draw field on Friday, 16 men’s teams are still standing and anxiously awaiting the round of 16 and quarterfinals Saturday as the weeklong festival of the world’s best pro beach volleyball winds down to its final two days on Saturday and Sunday at the $600,000 FIVB Swatch 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad 2011.
The world’s top beach volleyball tandems are in Switzerland as the double-gender event marks the 12th consecutive visit by the world tour with Gstaad hosting 10 men’s and 11 previous women’s events. Gstaad is nestled in a magnificent valley in Southwestern Switzerland at 3,440-feet (1,050 meters) above sea-level, the highest altitude a FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour stop is held every year.
With the eight pool winners receiving a bye in the first round of elimination, the winners of Friday’s first round will meet the eight pool winners in the round of 16 followed by the quarterfinals to determine the men’s final four. On Sunday, the men’s semifinals and medal matches will be played on the Gstaad center court.
Winning their respective pools were two teams each from Brazil, Germany and the United States along with single teams from China and Poland.
With the eight pool winners receiving a bye in the first round of elimination, the winners of Friday’s first round will meet the eight pool winners in the round of 16 followed by the quarterfinals to determine the men’s final four. The men’s semifinals and medal matches will be held on Sunday while the women’s final four will play their semifinals and medal matches on Saturday as the FIVB Swatch 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad 2011 completes another memorable event in Switzerland.
In the first round of single-elimination bracket played Friday early evening involving the other 16 teams that advanced from the two days of pool play, teams from 11 countries, including four tandems from Brazil, three from Germany and two from the United States, will be part of Saturday’s round of 16. The other countries among the 16 men’s teams still standing are from China, Czech Republic, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Switzerland.
In Friday’s first round of elimination matches, Latvia’s 26th-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilous/Ruslans Sorokins won by injury forfeit over Spain’s sixth-seeded Adrian Gavira Collado/Pablo Herrera; Russia’s 14th-seeded Yaroslav Koshakarev/Kanstanin Semenov defeated Latvia’s 13th-seeded Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins, 21-18, 19-21, 15-12 in 45 minutes; Czech Republic’s 22nd-seeded Petr Benes/Premsyl Kubala came from behind to defeat Switzerland’s 10th-seeded Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer, 16-21, 21-14 and 16-14 in 52 minutes and Germany’s 16th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik held on to defeat Switzerland’s ninth-seeded Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher, 21-19, 19-21 and 15-13 in 50 minutes.
In the other four first round elimination matches Friday, Brazil’s eighth-seeded Benjamin Insfran/Bruno Oscar Schmidt defeated Canada’s 31st-seeded Christian Redmann/Ben Saxton, 21-12, 27-29 and 15-11 in 53 minutes; Switzerland’s 30th-seeded Martin Laciga/Jonas Weingart upset USA’s 12th-seeded Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal, 21-15, 22-20 in 35 minutes; Netherland’s 17th-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil beat Norway’s 15th-seeded Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr, 19-21, 21-19, 15-11 in 52 minutes and Brazil’s 20th-seeded Rhooney Ferramenta/Pedro Salgado beat Italy’s 21st-seeded Matteo Martino/Paolo Nicolai, 21-17, 21-17 in 35 minutes.
The eight teams that lost in the first men’s elimination bracket round Friday finished tied for 17th in Gstaad and each will split $5,1000 in prize money. The eight teams eliminated in pool play each finished tied for 25th in the tournament and leave Gstaad with $3,500 per team.
The fourth of seven “major” tournaments on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour schedule, the FIVB Swatch 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad 2011, the winning pairs in Gstaad will each gender share the $43,500 first-place prizes. Silver medalists will split $29,500 while bronze medal winners will divide $23,000 and the fourth place finishers will receive $18,400.
Winning their pools and earning the first round single-elimination bracket round byes with their opening match Saturday against the winners of the late Friday matches between the other 16 teams that qualified for the final rounds were: Brazil’s top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, Germany’s second-seeded Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann, Brazil’s third-seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos, USA’s fourth-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers, Poland’s fifth-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, China’s 11th-seeded Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu, Germany’s seventh-seeded David Klemperer/Eric Koreng and USA’s 25th-seeded Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena.
USA’s Fuerbringer/Lucena finished 2-1 in pool play and won via tie-breaker while the other seven pool winners were all 3-0.
In Saturday’s first round of 16 matchups, it will be Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel vs. Latvia’s Samoilous/Sorokins; Russia’s Koshkarev/Semenov vs. USA’s Fuerbringer/Lucena; Poland’s Fijalek/Prudel vs. Czech Republic’s Benes/Kubala; Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik vs. Brazil’s Marcio Aaujo/Ricardo; USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers vs. Brazil’s Benjamin/Schmidt; Switzerland’s Laciga/Weingart vs. China’s Xu/Wu; Germany’s Klemperer/Koreng vs. Netherland’s Nummerdor/Schuil and Brazil’s Ferramenta/Salgado vs. Germany’s Brink/Reckermann.
After their major seed-breakthrough over USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal, Jonas Weingart commented, “We played well. There were some spectators on the side court which supported us out there. We really prepared ourselves well and were able to perform perfectly what he had decided upon.”
After playing three times on the Gstaad center court with a 1-2 record in pool play, Martin Laciga said, “We weren’t unhappy to play on court two. There is much more wind influencing the game and that is something which very well with may style of playing.”
After defeating a home-country team in front of a nearly-packed stadium center court in Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer, Premsyl Kubala of the Czech Republic summed up the match saying, “I feel great. In recent tournaments we have been losing out early. It’s even nicer that we succeeded here in Gstaad. We had some difficulties during the first set because it was our first match on center court, but we got used to it very quickly. When we realized that the younger of the two, Sebastian Chevallier, made quite a few so-called ‘unforced errors’, we started to concentrate on get the ball to him. As you can see, the tactic worked well, at least this time.”
The talented field includes the entire final four finishers from both genders from last year as well as the eight of the last nine women’s gold medalists in Gstaad and the last eight men’s gold medal winners although five are playing with new teammates at the extremely popular event and venue.
Last year’s men’s final four finishers in Gstaad were USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers (gold), Germany’s David Klemperer/Eric Koreng (silver), Brazil’s Marcio Araujo/Ricardo (Bronze), and Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel (fourth place).
Besides last year’s gold medal winners Dalhausser/Rogers of the United States, who also won this event in 2007 to win their FIVB Swatch World Championship and Germany’s Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann won this event in 2009. The other returning previous champions, representing five years are playing with different partners this year. Brazil’s Marcio Araujo won here in 2003 with Benjamin Insfran, Brazil’s Emanuel Rego won in 2005 and 2006 with Ricardo Santos, Switzerland’s Patrick Heuscher won here in 2004 with Stefan Kobel, and Brazil’s Harley Marques won here in 2008 with Pedro Salgado.
This year, Brazil’s Marcio Araujo is playing with Ricardo, Brazil’s Benjamin is playing with Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Brazil’s Emanuel is playing with Alison Cerutti, Switzerland’s Heuscher is playing with Jefferson Bellaguarda, and Brazil’s Salgado is playing this year with Rhooney Ferramenta. Brazil’s Harley played with Thiago Santos Barbosa and lost a country quota playoff match on Tuesday and was eliminated from the tournament. Heuscher was eliminated Friday. Besides Harley and Heuscher, the other former Gstaad champions that entered this year are all still playing in the tournament heading into Saturday’s two rounds..
The 2011 calendar features 15 women's and 14 men's events, including 12 double-gender tournaments, within all five FIVB confederations plus one special 24-team single-gender women’s test event held August 9-14 at London’s Horse Guards Parade, the venue for beach volleyball at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour is offering $7.64-million in prize money. Twelve of the tournaments are combined men's and women's events, including the World Championships and all six Grand Slam stops.
After the FIVB Swatch 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad 2011, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour continues with another Grand Slam double-gender event July 11-16 in Moscow (Moscow Grand Slam). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is $600,000.
The FIVB Swatch 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad 2011, the 225th women’s event and 264th men’s event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour (open, grand slam, Olympic and Goodwill). The first men’s FIVB Swatch World Tour event was played February 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the first women’s event was played August 14-16, 1992 at Almeria, Spain.
For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour or the event, please visit www.fivb.org. For information on the FIVB Swatch 1to1 energy Grand Slam Gstaad 2011, please visit the event website at www.beachworldtour.ch.