Quebec City, Canada, July 21, 2011—Paced by three teams from United States and two from Brazil, eight beach volleyball tandems from five countries posted unbeaten records here Thursday during the opening men’s main draw rounds as the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour continues at the double-elimination $380,000 FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011, presented by Videotron.
Back in North America for the first time since 2007, the double-gender event marks the eighth time the world tour is visiting Canada and the first time competing in Quebec City.
The ninth of 14 men’s and 10th of 15 women’s internationally-televised tournaments on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour schedule, the FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011 will run parallel schedules for both genders. Action began with country quota playoff matches on Tuesday, single elimination qualification tournaments on Wednesday to determine the final eight spots in the 32-team double elimination main draws which started Thursday and runs through Sunday.
The semifinals will conclude play for each gender on Saturday night and medal matches for each gender will be played Sunday afternoon as the winning pairs in each gender share the $30,000 first-place prizes. Silver medal teams will split $21,000, the bronze $15,000 and the fourth-place finishers dividing $11,200.
The venue for the open tournament in Quebec, which was blanketed with rain showers for over three hours midday on Thursday, is the provincial I’Externat St-Jean Berchmans and Seminaire des Peres Maristes in the Quebec borough of Sillery. Admission is free to Tuesday’s country quota playoff matches as well as Wednesday’s qualification tournaments and ticket information for Thursday through Sunday is available at the event website, www.quebecopenjeep.com or by calling 418.656.3668.
Undefeated with two victories each on Thursday heading into Friday’s second day of main draw competition from the United States are top-seeded Todd Rogers/Phil Dalhausser, fifth-seeded Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal and seventh-seeded Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena.
From Brazil, the two undefeated teams are eighth-seeded Thiago Santos Barbosa/Harley Marques and surprising 29th-seeded Alvaro Filho/Moises Santos.
Joining the Americans and the Brazilians in the ranks of the first-day undefeated tandems are Germany’s second-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilous/Ruslans Sorokins and Georgia’s Renato Gomes/Jorge Terceiro.
As the FIVB Swatch World Tour has returned to Canada, Canadians started Thursday with four men’s and six women’s teams in the main draw. While none were undefeated during the first day of main draw play, seven are still alive in the competition, four men’s and three women’s teams.
For Friday’s third round of the winner’s bracket, the men’s matchups will see USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers against Brazil’s Barbosa/Marques, USA’s Gibb/Rosenthal meeting Brazil’s Santos/Filho, Georgia’s Gomes/Terceiro playing Latvia’s Samoilous/Sorokins and USA’s Fuerbinger/Lucena competing against Germany’s Erdmann/Matysik.
In addition to the eight undefeated teams, 16 additional teams remain in the competition with one defeat each. Thursday’s schedule features 22 men’s and 22 women’s matches ending with the two winner’s bracket quarterfinal matches for each gender.
USA’s top-seeded Dalhausser/Rogers had kind of a short day as they won by injury forfeit over USA’s John Hyden/Sean Scott in their morning match which would have been played in heavy rain showers. In their evening second-round match played under the lights in front of several thousand appreciative Canadian fans on the nearly sold-out Quebec center court, the reigning Olympic champions increased their 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour record to 41-10 by defeating Brazil’s 16th-seeeded Joao Maciel/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, 21-14, 21-18 in 39 minutes. The night match was played under a beautiful Canadian evening sky with none of the torrential rain that pelted the venue for several hours during the first part of Thursday’s schedule.
USA’s Hyden/Scott did make it onto the court and stayed alive in the tournament by defeating Great Britain’s 17th-seeded John Garcia-Thompson/Steven Grotowski, 21-16, 21-13 in 38 minutes in a contender’s bracket first round match.
“We did have kind of a short day today,” commented Dalhausser, who is competing with Rogers in their 46th FIVB Swatch World Tour event where they have 34 final four finishes and 19 gold medals. “We were fortunate this morning to win by forfeit and miss all that rain and then we played pretty good tonight. We got control early and kept it throughout the match. I am really impressed with this first-year tournament in Quebec with the venue and how the organizers are treating the athletes.”
Echoing the overall sentiments of his teammate, Rogers said following the match against Brazil, “We wanted to play in North America on the FIVB Swatch World Tour, this is our first time to be able to do it as a team. I played here in Canada when the world tour went to Montreal and Toronto and this event in Quebec is far and above the quality of all seven of those events. This is only the first year and Phil and I both already put the quality of the event on a grand slam level and it even rivals the best one of all in Austria. As for tonight’s match, we had some runs and they couldn’t catch up. We’re playing pretty good right now and we obviously want to play in the last match on Sunday.”
The surprise team of the tournament during the first day was Brazil’s Filho/Santos. Playing in their first tournament together, Filho/Santos only needed two sets for each of their two wins. First they upset Norway’s fourth-seeded Tarjei Skarlund/Martin Spinnangr, 21-15, 21-15 in 37 minutes and backed that up by defeating Spain’s 20th-seeded Inocenio Lario/Raul Mesa, 21-14, 21-14 in 36 minutes. Filho, only 20, has won the silver medal in both the 2009 and 2010 FIVB Swatch Junior World Championships, playing both years with Vitor Felipe. This is his first main draw appearance on the FIVB Swatch World Tour.
The FIVB Swatch World Tour previously had tournaments in Canada in Toronto (three from 1998-2000) and Montreal (four from 2002-2007). A total of 97 teams from 29 countries have entered the FIVB Swatch Québec Open Jeep 2011.
The 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour 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 Quebec Open Jeep 2011, the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour returns to Europe for the final two of six 2011 Grand Slam double-gender events: July 25-31 in Stare Jablonki, Poland (Mazury Orlen Grand Slam Stare Jablonki 2011) and Klagenfurt, Austria (A1 Grand Slam presented by Volksbank Klagenfurt 2011). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is $600,000.
The FIVB Swatch Quebec Open Jeep 2011 will be the 227th women’s event and 266th 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. While this is the 25th year that the FIVB has sanctioned international pro beach volley events, it is the 23rd year of the men’s and 20th year of the women’s FIVB Swatch World Tour.
Also on-site this week in Quebec will be a special production crew from IMG, the company that not only produces the live international telecasts of select matches, but also the weekly FIVB Swatch World Tour highlight show that is syndicated throughout the world.
For more information on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, please visit www.fivb.org or visit the event website at www.quebecopenjeep.com.