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Morocco Open | Men
  4/10/2011 - 9/10/2011

Dutch upset Brazil’s Cunha and Ricardo

Reinder Nummerdor (picture) and Richard Schuil upset Cunha/Ricardo
Agadir, Morocco, October 6, 2011 – Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil had a very good start at the first edition of the FIVB Swatch Morocco Open on Thursday. The Dutch, three time European champions, but only seeded 15th in Agadir, beat former world and olympic champion Ricardo Santos and his new partner Pedro Cunha on the first day of main draw. Both teams treated the audience, including tourists from various countries, to sublime beach volleyball with long exciting rallies.

The second round game was a rematch of the final in The Hague one month ago, where the Brazilians took the gold in three sets. On the sunny beaches of Agadir the Dutch were in charge most of the game, playing really focused and making almost no mistakes. Cunha and Ricardo, who have won two gold medals in only five tournaments together, did have chances though. They came from behind and leveled at 19-19 in the first set to create two set points, but did not cash them. Nummerdor and Schuil finished the set on their first at 25-23.

In the second set the Brazilians were trailing only one or two points. Excellent digging by Nummerdor and good serving by Schuil got them the victory in the end: 25-23 21-18 in 43 minutes. The score between the two teams is now tied at 1-1. “It really was a rematch of the one in The Hague, with a lot of wind again, but this time sun instead of rain”, Nummerdor said afterwards. “In The Hague Brazil coped better with the wind, today we did. Richard really used it serving. We also practiced a lot with the wind in Holland.”

Top seeded Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann won both matches on Friday in straight sets. They had an easy start against home team Khalid Berma and Mohamed Abicha (21-14 21-13) and later on also defeated Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Rhooney Ferramenta in two sets (22-20 21-18).

Russian qualifiers Yury Bogatov and Serguei Prokopiev surprised third seeded Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda in the first round, winning 21-18 19-21 15-10. The young Russians played very consistent in their first encounter ever with the experienced Swiss team but were not able to keep up the level in the second round. Americans Jacob Gibb and Sean Rosenthal directed them to the loser’s bracket. Heuscher and Bellaguarda are still in the tournament, but had another tough three sets against Norway’s Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr in the loser’s round.

China’s top team Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu made their comeback on the Tour in Agadir after missing two tournaments. They had a tough match in the first round against qualifiers Andy and Kevin Ces. The Chinese lost the first set, but won the second. In the tiebreak they came back from behind to have their first match point at 14-12. Eventually they needed four match points to finish the game (21-16 15-21 17-15). In the second round they lost to Americans Casey Jennings/Kevin Wong (21-18 21-19).

Wu: “It was tough. We had a long trip, struggled a bit with the time difference. This was our first day and we had to get used to the wind.” Wu and Xu took some time off and did not play at the World Tour events in Aland and The Hague. “Linyin had a knee injury and I had to study for my French exams. I got my bachelor degree now. So that is why we took some weeks off. After this tournament we finish the season with the Asian championships, take some time off and then probably start training for the next season in Los Angeles.”

Jennings and Wong play Nummerdor/Schuil in the third round on Friday. The other three matches in the third round are: Gibb/Rosenthal - Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena, Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira – Marcio Araujo/Benjamin Insfran and Brink/Reckermann – Petr Benes/Premysl Kubala. In the loser’s bracket three rounds will be played on Friday. The semifinals and medal matches are scheduled for Sunday. The winners of the single gender event share $30,000, the silver medalists 21,000 and the bronze $15,000.

It is the first time the FIVB Swatch World Tour visits Morocco, 58 teams from 26 countries witnessed this debut in Agadir. Only one other African country hosted a World Tour event before. In 1995, 2004, 2005 (Cape Town) and 1996 (Durban) South Africa was part of the World Tour calendar.

The single gender Morocco Open is the 14th and final men’s event of the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour. The women finish next month with their 16th event in Phuket, Thailand.   
More press releases
10/10/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Season leaders as of Sunday, October 9, 2011
9/10/2011 Nummerdor and Schuil win Morocco Open
8/10/2011 Two European teams in Agadir semifinals
7/10/2011 Brink and Reckermann on course for Morocco Open title
7/10/2011 Moroccan duos happy despite loss
6/10/2011 Dutch upset Brazil’s Cunha and Ricardo
5/10/2011 Top five qualification advances to main draw in Agadir
4/10/2011 Stiekema and Varenhorst earn spot in qualification tournament Agadir
29/09/2011 84 top men’s teams from 31 countries on road to Africa for season-ending FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Morocco Open Oct. 4-9 in Agadir
28/09/2011 Agadir eagerly awaits arrival of World Tour
1/03/2011 World Tour returns to Africa with Morocco Open