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

Nummerdor and Schuil win Morocco Open

The 2011 Morocco Open podium
Agadir, Morocco, October 9, 2011 - Dutch Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil won the first edition of the Morocco Open in Agadir on Sunday. They were also the first European team to win gold on the FIVB Swatch World Tour this season. The Dutch veterans beat Germany’s Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann in the final in three sets: 22-20 16-21 15-11. Brazil’s Rhooney Ferramenta won his first World Tour medal. He and his partner Pedro Solberg beat Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena in the bronze medal match in just two sets: 21-14 21-16.

Nummerdor and Schuil had defeated the Brazilians earlier on Sunday in the semifinals in two easy sets (21-17 21-16), while Brink and Reckermann needed three sets (21-18 21-23 15-12) against Americans Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena. The semifinals were played in the soaring heat on centre court at the Agadir beach, but when the final started a cool mist brought some relief to the players.

Under the watchful eye of French referee Marc Berard, who whistled his thousandth match, the audience on the fully packed centre court got to see an excellent final with thrilling rallies. According to the statistics the Germans were in the advantage, leading the series 5-1, but it turned out different. In the beginning of the first set neither team gave an inch, but at 15-15 Schuil delivered some ferocious serves, getting them a comfortable lead. At 20-17 the Dutch had their first set point, but Germany came back to 20-20. A serve by Nummerdor brought them the set after all at 22-20.

In the second set Brink and Reckermann put the pressure on, serving better and taking a lead. They built that lead to 21-16 eventually and enforced a tiebreak. The Dutch changed tactics and started targeting Brink with Schuil’s block finishing it off at the net. From 5-5 they took the lead and did not give it away anymore: 15-11. The Dutch celebrated their first title since Sanya in 2009 and their seventh title in eleven finals on the World Tour. “This is a great end of our season with two finals in a row”, Nummerdor said. “Winning silver in The Hague last month and now gold here, excellent.”

Schuil admitted that they got a bit of a lucky start. “They made a lot of mistakes serving in the beginning. In the second set their serve really came trough and we were under a lot of pressure, making mistakes. Luckily we turned it around in the tiebreak. Normally I have trouble blocking Brink, but this time I really got him.” Nummerdor, who turned 35 one month ago and 38-year old Schuil are now the third oldest team to win a World Tour title, behind Brazilians Marcio Araujo (37) and Benjamin (39) and Marcio Araujo (37) and Ricardo Santos (36) earlier this year.

For the Germans their loss in the eleventh final of their career was of course disappointing, but only for a moment. Reckermann: “We still look back on an amazing season, third in the World Championships, winning the European title and national title and finishing third on the World Tour ranking. But today we made too many mistakes. Maybe we should not have taking so much risk on our serve.” They take back home their seventh silver medal, their last gold dates back to Moscow 2009. Since then the Germans were in six finals but lost all.

In the bronze medal match the Brazilians and Americans met for the third time this year, Brazil leading the series 2-1. Ferramenta and Pedro seemed to have more energy left then Fuerbringer and Lucena, only playing two sets in the semifinal. In just 36 minutes they beat the Americans in 21-14 21-16. Ferramenta, who performed his famous back flip after the last point, was overwhelmed with his first success on the Tour. “I can not tell you how happy I am. I cannot grasp the fact yet that I just won my first medal here. I would really like to thank my partner. He pulled me trough the tournament and this match. We lost in the second round and had to play a lot of matches here to reach this.”

Ferramenta and Pedro played one tournament together last year and hooked up again in the middle of this season, surprisingly finishing fifth at the World Championships but not winning a medal together yet. Pedro was very successful in the past with Harley. They won the World Tour in 2008 and several medals, but split up last year. Since then Pedro has been trying to find a new partner. Ferramenta would very much like to continue with his good friend Pedro. “But that is up to the coaches now.”

The Morocco Open, made possible by the honorary presidency of his Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, was the 14th and final event on the 2011 FIVB Swatch World Tour. The women’s Tour will finish next month with the Thailand Open in Phuket.

It was the first time the FIVB Swatch World Tour visited Morocco, after challengers in Casablanca in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The only other African country that hosted a World Tour event was South Africa. After the FIVB Swatch World Tour Morocco Open the town of Agadir will host the CAVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup next week.   
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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
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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
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