Prague, Czech Republic, May 23, 2012 – Spain’s Francisco Alfredo Marco
and Christian Garcia secured their first main draw event with three straight
wins on Wednesday at the FIVB SWATCH World Tour Patria Direct Open. Two teams
from Canada and one each from the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, Switzerland and
Russia also earned a spot in main draw.
After an easy first round win over Sweden’s Petter and Viktor Jonsson
(21-10 21-16), Marcos and Garcia upset third seeded Hannes Brinkborg and Stefan
Gunnarsson in the second round. The Swedes came back from behind after losing
the first set and even had a couple of set points in the second, but great
blocking by Spain prevented a tiebreak: 21-17 23-21.
In the third round the Spanish team, seeded 30th, just as easily
eliminated USA’s Casey Jennings and William Strickland, although they needed
three match points to seal the victory: 21-16 21-17. Both players, coached by
2004 silver olympic medallist Xavier Bosma, exploded with joy on a sunny
They had reached a main draw event before individually, but not since
they started playing together as a team in 2011. ‘‘Today it was all about
concentration and control‘‘, Garcia said. “We are not tall players, but we scored
quite a lot of blocking points today thanks to that focus.‘‘
Canada advanced two teams to the main draw of the fourth edition of the
Patria Direct Open, 4th seeded Ben Saxton and Christian Redmann and 16th seeded
Josh Binstock and Martin Reader. For Binstock and Reader it was the second
time, in only four events together, they made it to the last 32 teams.
‘‘I really wanted to succeed here‘‘, Reader said. ‘‘Prague is our home
base in Europe and we know a lot of people here. The week before the tournament
we stayed with the Benes family [the promoter of the Patria Direct Open] at
their country home, where they have excellent beach volleyball facilities. So
our preparation was perfect.‘‘
After beating Italian teams Cecchini/Ranghieri (21-15 19-21 15-9) and
Tomatis/Martino (21-14 21-14) they knew they would have to play a tough third
and final match against Dawid Popek and Michal Makowski. The young Polish team
upset first seeded Georgians Geor and Gia in the second round. Due to an
excellent blocking Reader the Canadians also won this match, 21-18 22-20 in 39
Brazil - Venezuela
Also advancing were 6th seeded Harley Marques and Evandro Gonçalves from
Brazil, though they needed three sets (21-19 15-21 15-11) against fellow South-Americans Leon and
Castro. Although seeded only 54th the Venezuelans had eliminated Estonia’s
Vesik/Jaani (11th) and Japanese Asahi/Shiratori (22) in the first two rounds.
The other four teams that claimed a spot in main draw of the $190.000
Patria Direct Open were 2nd-seeded Laciga/Weingart from Switzerland, Russia’s
Bogatov/Prokopiev (10th), Poland’s Kadziola/Szalankiewicz (5th) and
Stiekema/Varenhorst (9th) from the Netherlands.
Starting Thursday Brazil’s world champions Alison Cerutti and Emanuel
Rego will defend their 2011 title on the island in the Vltava River. Main draw
matches start at 9.00. The semifinals of the double elimination men’s only Patria
Direct Open are scheduled for Saturday afternoon, while the medal matches are
played on Sunday.