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Americans and Brazilians in fight for Stavanger Grand Slam swords

Sean Rosenthal is on course for his and Phil Dalhausser's best result of 2014
Stavanger, Norway, June 29, 2014 – Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won their semifinal, and will meet Ricardo and Alvaro Filho in the Stavanger Grand Slam gold medal match on Sunday, with a pair of Viking swords also on offer to the winners.  

In the fourth tournament of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the gold medal match will start at 16.00 local time.

Dalhausser and Rosenthal beat Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson in their semifinal, while the Brazilians defeated Alexandr Sidorenko and Alexey Dyachenko of Kazakhstan. 

The no 1 seeded Americans had no difficulties in their semifinal and continued their winning strike as they won their semifinal against Gabathuler and Gerson 2-0 (21-14, 21-9). 

This will be the Swiss’ best result in a Grand Slam, after last week’s ninth place in Berlin Grand Slam. They have showed good form this year as they also took the bronze medals at the Anapa Open in Russia.

“We wanted the chance of a sword, and we’ve now got that chance,” Dalhausser said. “We got lucky because these guys got through qualifier and played a bunch of matches yesterday, so I think they were a little bit gassed.”

Dalhausser and Rosenthal have lost only one set during in Stavanger and are on course for their first final and their second medal of this year’s World Tour. 

“We played solid balls and scored some points and that was all we needed,” Dalhausser continued. “We had a hiccup last week in Berlin, and we took a 17th and it is great to bounce back with at least a second place, but we want the swords and we want first place.”

In the other semifinal Ricardo and Alvaro Filho of Brazil defeated Sidorenko and Dyachenko 2-0 (23-21, 21-19) and were pushed hard all the way by a team that was making its first appearance in the last four. 

Whether they win gold or silver the medals will be Ricardo and Alvaro’s first of the year.

“The Kazak guys has developed and are playing really well,” Alvaro said. “Today was a tough match, like all our other ones. And in this tournament the level has been really high.

“It is always a tough match to play USA. They are a very good team, and it will be a good show.”

The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stavanger Grand Slam runs from Wednesday, June 25 until Sunday June 29. It is the eighth event and the fourth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features nine Grand Slams and 11 Open tournaments.

The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Gstaad Grand Slam which runs from July 9-13.

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