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Mazury Orlen Grand Slam | Men
  14/08/2012 - 19/08/2012

Bruno and Thiago waste no time in finding rhythm

Bruno and new partner Thiago made it through to the men's main draw in their first tournament together, in Stare Jablonki
Stare Jablonki, Poland, August 15, 2012 – Bruno Schmidt and Thiago Santos wasted little time in striking up a good understanding in their new partnership to win their qualification match and reach the main draw of the Mazury Orlen Grand Slam on Wednesday.

They received a bye in the first qualification round and then defeated the Czech Republic’s Jan Dumek and Martin David 21-11, 22-20.

“We’ve had a good start and now we have to think about our next match,” Bruno said. “It is a new start for us and we have to play match by match. We are a new team and so don’t have too much pressure on us, so we’ll see how the tournament goes for us.”

The duo only paired up on Monday after Bruno’s previous partner Benjamin Insfran joined up with Harley Marques. Bruno and Thiago then beat Benjamin and Harley in the country quota round to reach the qualification rounds.

“Benjamin was invited by Harley and I didn’t think twice about playing with Thiago,” Bruno explained. “We only trained for the first time on Monday.”

Also through to the main draw are Spain’s Raul Mesa and Inocencio Lario. They started off with a victory against Finland’s Timo Haavisto and Toni Vahela, 21-17, 21-14 and then needed three sets to see off Germany’s Markus Bockermann and Mischa Urbatzka, 21-19, 21-23, 15-9.

“We didn’t like the draw because German teams are always very strong, so it was not a good draw,” Mesa said. “But we played well and controlled the ball well which helped us win.”

It is only the second time this season that the pair have made it through qualification to reach pool play. Their best result in 2012 is a 25th place finish at the Moscow Grand Slam and they also recorded a 17th place finish at the season opening Brasilia Open.

“Now we have to think about playing three good matches in pool play and then we shall see,” Mesa said. “You have one more chance in pool play than double elimination. You play three matches and have three chances to win at least once and guarantee a 17th place finish.”

Other teams through to the main draw include Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl of Austria, Norway’s Iver Andreas Horrem and Geir Eithun, and Russian duo Dmitri Barsouk and Yury Bogatov.

The Mazury Orlen Grand Slam is the ninth of nine mixed gender tournaments on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour and the final men’s tournament of the year. The winning side will leave with the largest share from a pot of $300,000 per gender.
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