Gstaad, Switzerland, July 6, 2012—With the last of three guaranteed pool play matches gone and the first round of single-elimination bracket play eliminating half of the main draw field on Friday, 16 men’s teams are still standing strong and anxiously awaiting the round of 16 and quarterfinals Saturday as the weeklong festival of the world’s best pro beach volleyball winds down to its final two days at the $600,000 1to1 energy Grand Slam in Gstaad, Switzerland.
The world’s top beach volleyball tandems have returned to Switzerland as the extremely popular double-gender event marks the 13th consecutive visit by the world tour with Gstaad hosting 11 men’s and 12 previous women’s events. Village Gstaad is nestled in a magnificent valley in Southwestern Switzerland at 3,440 feet (1,050 meters) above sea-level, the highest altitude a FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour stop is held annually.
BYES FOR POOL WINNERS
With the eight pool winners receiving a bye in the first round of elimination, the winners of Friday’s first round will meet the eight pool winners in the round of 16 followed by the quarterfinals to determine the men’s final four. On Sunday, the men’s semifinals and medal matches will be played on the Gstaad stadium center court.
Winning their respective pools to advance to Saturday’s round of 16 were USA’s top-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers, Brazil’s second-seeded Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, Brazil’s sixth-seeded Benjamin Insfran/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Switzerland’s 10th-seeded Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher, Italy’s 13th-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Germany’s 19th-seeded David Klemperer/Eric Koreng, Poland’s 21st-seeded Michael Kadziola/Jakub Szalenkiewicz and Switzerland’s 24th-seeded Martin Laciga/Jonas Weingart.
USA’s Dalhausser/Rogers, Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel, Italy’s Lupo/Nicolai, Poland’s Kadziola/Szalankiewicz and Brazil’s Insfran/Oscar Schmidt were undefeated at 3-0 in pool play while Switzerland’s Bellaguarda/Heuscher, Germany’s Klemperer/Koreng and Switzerland’s Laciga/Weingart were all 2-1 in their round robin matches but won the pools by way of tie-breakers.
ELIMINATION FIRST ROUND COUNTRIES
In the first round of single-elimination bracket played Friday early evening involving the other 16 teams that advanced after two days of pool play, teams from 11 countries, including four tandems from Brazil, three from the United States and two each from Germany and the host country Switzerland, will be part of Saturday’s round of 16. The other countries among the 16 men’s teams still standing on Swiss sand are from Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Netherlands, and Poland.
ELIMINATION FIRST ROUND RESULTS
In Friday’s first round of elimination matches, Brazil’s fifth-seeded Pedro Cunha/Ricardo Santos defeated Germany’s eighth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, 21-15, 21-23 and 15-12 in 56 minutes; Germany’s 14th-seeded Sebastian Dollinger/Stefan Windscheif beat Netherlands’ 11th-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Richard Schuil, 21-17, 21-17 in 37 minutes; USA’s seventh-seeded Matt Fuerbringer/Nick Lucena held on against Venezuela’s 32nd-seeded Jackson Henriquez/Farid Mussa, 21-17, 22-24 and 15-12 in 59 minutes and Netherland’s 31st-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen eliminated Austria’s 29th-seeded Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst, 21-18, 21-14 in 36 minutes.
In the other four first round elimination matches Friday, Kazakhstan’s 17th-seeded Alexandr Dyachenko/Alexey Sidorenko stopped host-country Switzerland’s ninth-seeded Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer, 21-17, 21-19 in 42 minutes, Brazil’s 23rd-seeded country quota survivor Rhooney Ferramenta/Thiago Santos Barbosa eliminated Poland’s 12th-seeded Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel, 21-18, 15-21, 15-10 in 53 minutes; USA’s third-seeded Jake Gibb/Sean Rosenthal won in straight sets over Czech Republic’s 15th-seeded Petr Benes/Premysl Kubala, 21-19, 21-15 in 36 minutes and Latvia’s fourth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Ruslans Sorokins eliminated Italy’s 22nd-seeded qualification team of Matteo Ingrosso/Paolo Ingrosso, by identical scores of 21-17, 21-17 in 39 minutes.
The eight teams that lost in the first men’s elimination bracket round Friday finished tied for 17th in Gstaad and each will split $5,100 in prize money. The eight teams eliminated in pool play each finished tied for 25th in the tournament and leave Switzerland with $3,500 per team, the traditional amounts for an FIVB grand slam event.
After their three-set win over Germany, Brazil’s Cunha commented, “We were very fortunate with the weather, because when we were warming up it rained a lot and when we moved to the court it was sunny. I am very grateful to Ricardo because he helped me out when I had some not too good moments during the match. We had only played the Germans once before which we also won and we were expecting to play three sets, but we won and that’s the important thing. The Germans had some great serves that kept them in the match and we were surprised how hard they fought.”
Following their victory over a host country team, Kazakhstan’s Sidorenko said, “Truthfully, we are surprised that we won, especially play a team on their home sand made it even tougher. We were satisfied with our game and as far as the weather goes, both teams have to play in it and we play outdoors so you learn to expect just about anything. This is the farthest a team from our country has advanced in a grand slam event and we hope to win some more tomorrow.”
FIVB SWATCH WORLD TOUR CALENDAR
The 2012 calendar features 13 women's and 13 men's events, including nine double-gender tournaments, within four of the five FIVB confederations in addition to the approaching 2012 London Olympic Games on July 28 to August 9 in a purpose-built 15,000 stadium on the grounds of the iconic Horse Guards Parde. The 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour is offering $6.32-million in prize money.
BIG PURSE IN GSTAAD
The gold medal teams in each gender in the 1to1 energy Grand Slam will each split $43,500, the silver $29,500, the bronze $23,000 and fourth place $18,400. The women’s medal matches will be held Saturday and the men’s medal matches will be played on Sunday in the raucous Gstaad stadium center court. For more information on the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour or the event, please visit www.fivb.org. For additional information on the 1to1 energy Grand Slam, please visit the event website at www.beachworldtour.ch.
NEXT STOP: BERLIN
After the 1to1 energy Grand Slam, the 2012 FIVB Swatch World Tour continues with the next grand slam double-gender event July 10-15 in Berlin (Berlin Grand Slam). The total prize money for each Grand Slam event is $600,000. The 1to1 energy Grand Slam is the 239th women’s event and 279th men’s event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour (open, grand slam, Olympic and Goodwill). The first men’s FIVB SWATCH World Tour event was played Feb. 17-22, 1987 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The first women’s event was played Aug. 14-16, 1992 at Almeria, Spain.