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Silesia Open | Men
  24/04/2012 - 29/04/2012

Two Brazilian teams in Myslowice semifinals

An exhausted Ricardo (BRA) celebrating his semifinal spot, leaving Jake Gibb (USA) disillusioned
Myslowice, Poland, April 27, 2012 – Brazil’s Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos and Marcio Araujo and Pedro Solberg secured a spot in the semifinals of the FIVB SWATCH World Tour Silesia Open in Poland on Friday. For Marcio and Pedro it will be their first final four in just their second event together, for Cunha and Ricardo their fourth, winning gold twice and bronze once, in seven tournaments as a team.

Cunha and Ricardo started the day on centre court in a sunny Slupna Park with a fairly easy 21-14 21-16 against French Andy and Kevin Ces. But they needed to go all the way to beat Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in their next game. Cunha and Ricardo took a two-points-lead in the first set, but the Americans game back to 19-19 and Brazil really had to dig deep to take the set. After a long, exhausting rally Ricardo scored the winning point but had to catch his breath laying down in the sand for a moment. In the second the Brazilians were trailing and two out-balls at the end cost them their first set loss in the tournament. In the tiebreak they finally secured their semifinal spot; 21-19 19-21 15-12 in exactly one hour.

‘’There is a lot of pressure’’, former olympic and world champion Ricardo said after the game. ‘’We are still in the race for the Olympics and we are nervous about that. We need at least five more tournaments and good results.’’ Cunha and Ricardo just recently formed a team together and only played seven events so far. They need twelve and a good ranking to be able to qualify for London. ‘’But in the end I am happy with the way we played. And it is always nice to play in front of people who love beach volleyball, like here in Poland.’’ His partner Cunha expected rain and snow, coming to Poland. ‘’But the weather is beautiful. It is great, because now we can sweat and that is what beach volleyball is all about.’’

Their compatriots Marcio and Pedro, both experienced players as well, but new as a team this year, also won in three sets against Dutch Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil: 18-21 21-14 17-15. After the Dutch secured the first set due to an excellent blocking Schuil, Marcio got the Brazilian team a big lead in the second, serving five points in a row from 6-4 to 11-4. Pedro: ‘’I am really pleased with Marcio’s strong serving. I used to play with Harley, who was an excellent server as well. Me, I am not a strong server, more of a float server.’’

In the tiebreak the Dutch had two match points at 14-12 and 14-13, but did not follow through. Brazil did, on their second. Pedro thanked his Polish for cheering them on, afterwards. ‘’I love to play here in Myslowice. I won my second world title under 21 here in 2006 with Bruno Oscar Schmidt. I have a lot of friends here.’’ Both Pedro and Marcio competed at the Silesia Open in 2009 and 2010, but neither of them was in the final four in Myslowice before.

Due to the double elimination system Nummerdor and Schuil and Gibb and Rosenthal are still in the running for the semifinals, as are Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Nicolai Paolo, 2010 silver medallists Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira from Spain, USA’s Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena and the only remaining qualifiers in the tournament, Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst. For the Austrians, both olympians, Myslowice is their first tournament together.

For the two remaining American teams it is going to be a competitive day, as they are both still in the race for a second olympic ticket behind Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers. Fuerbringer and Lucena won silver last week in Brasilia and are in the best position at the moment, but that can change easily. If Fuerbringer and Lucena win their first match on Saturday against Herrera and Gavira, they play Gibb and Rosenthal in a direct match for a spot in the semifinals.

The fifth day of the Silesia Open starts at 10.00 with two rounds in the loser’s bracket, followed by the semifinals at 16.00 and 17.00. The bronze medal match and the final are scheduled for 13.30 and 15.00 on Sunday.

A total of 101 teams from 34 different countries have been competing in the fifth edition of the Silesia Open. The Polish event has always been a single gender tournament, with the women competing in 2008 and 2011 and the men in 2009 and 2010. Dalhausser and Rogers beat Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira in the final in 2010. Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann from Germany won the bronze medal.

Next week both men and women will be in China for two consecutive grand slams in Shanghai and Beijing. After a short break the World Tour continues in Europe with the Prague Open for the men at the end of May (22-27). The women will have to wait till the next event, the Grand Slam in Moscow from June 6-12. The FIVB SWATCH World Tour will return to Poland after the Olympics for the Grand Slam in Stare Jablonski in August (13-19).   
More press releases
30/04/2012 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour Season Update
29/04/2012 Cunha and Ricardo beat Marcio and Pedro in Myslowice final
28/04/2012 All-Brazilian final at the 2012 Silesia Open
27/04/2012 Two Brazilian teams in Myslowice semifinals
26/04/2012 Top three Silesia Open undefeated
25/04/2012 Dutch day in Myslowice
24/04/2012 Seven teams from six countries advance to qualifications in Myslowice
20/04/2012 Myslowice awaits for top men's duos