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

Brink and Reckermann on course for Morocco Open title

Germany's Julius Brink (right) and Jonas Reckermann
Agadir, Morocco, October 7, 2011 – Top seeded Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann seem to be heading for the gold at the first edition of the FIVB Swatch World Tour Morocco Open. The Germans are the only team still without set loss in Agadir. Second seeded Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos from Brazil were surprisingly eliminated in the loser’s bracket on Friday, as were third seeded Swiss Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda.

European champions Brink and Reckermann opened the fourth day of the Morocco Open on centre court against Petr Benes and Premysl Kubala. They had never lost before to the Czechs and their fifth encounter also ended in an easy victory: 21-10 21-16. “Maybe it looked easy, but of course it is never easy on the World Tour”, Reckermann said. “But our tactic worked well, especially in the first set. We served real short on Benes and he seemed to have trouble with that. I also think we were more used to the heat on the centre court, because we played both our matches here yesterday.”

The Germans missed two World Tour-events since Klagenfurt early August, where they finished second. Reckermann: “After Klagenfurt we had the European championships. That was tough, so we needed a break before the nationals and skipped Aland. The event in The Hague was at the same time as the nationals. But now we are well rested. We have been here since Friday and practiced a lot.” The German team, third at the World Championships in Rome, won five medals (two silver, three bronze) on the World Tour this year, but their last Tour-title dates back to 2009 in Moscow.

Brink and Reckermann will play Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera on Saturday for a spot in the semifinals. The Spanish team celebrated their victory over Brazil’s Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran in the third round like they won a gold medal. “We are just so happy to be back”, Herrera explained. He injured his knee in Gstaad early July. They were sidelined for a long time and only started training again three weeks ago. On Friday Gavira and Herrera had to go all the way against Marcio and Benjamin, barely winning the first set, losing the second but convincingly taking the tiebreak: 27-25 15-21 15-10 in 1 hour and 4 minutes.

Herrera won silver at the Olympics in Athens 2004 with Javier Bosma and finished 9th in Beijing four years later. With Gavira he would like to add a third Olympics to his career. “But we have to collect some more points to qualify. So we are very motivated to play here in Agadir and do well. We are very happy with our results so far and still have two chances to make it to the semifinals.”

In the other fourth round match Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil will play Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena. The Americans beat their compatriots Jacob Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in three sets, 16-21 21-16 15-13. Fuerbringer and Lucena, second in Quebec this year, played the Dutch twice before this year. In Brasilia they won, in Moscow they lost. The Americans collected three medals (two silver, one bronze) in 23 matches so far.

Nummerdor and Schuil are the more experienced team with six Tour-titles, four silver and two bronze medals. After their spectacular straight win over Cunha/Ricardo on Thursday they needed three sets against Casey Jennings and Kevin Wong: 21-18 17-21 15-10. Schuil: “I had difficulty receiving their serves. I think they had at least three aces on me. Tomorrow is going to be difficult again. Fuerbringer is a very good blocker.”

For second seeded Cunha and Ricardo, who won gold in Klagenfurt and The Hague, the season ended disappointing with the 13th place in Agadir. After their surprise loss to the Dutch on Thursday they were eliminated in the loser’s bracket by China’s Linyin Wu and Penggen Xu (15-21 21-18 15-12). They were later on also eliminated.

Still competing in the loser’s round are Brazil’s Marcio and Benjamin and Rhooney Ferramenta and Pedro Solberg, Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik and Jennings and Wong from the US.

The $190,000 Morocco Open continues on Saturday with round four of main draw and two rounds in the loser’s bracket. The semifinals and final are scheduled for Sunday. The first edition of the Morocco Open is the final event on the 2011 World Tour calendar for the men. The women have one more tournament left in November in Phuket, Thailand.

After the World Tour leaves Agadir, the bustling tourist town will host the CAVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup next week.   
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