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Brazil stars hoping for game, set and match as World Tour hits Rio’s tennis centre

 
Pedro (left) and Guto will be playing in their home town at the Rio 4-star event
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 16, 2017 - Brazil’s players will be right at the centre of attention when the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour returns to Rio de Janeiro for the first of two 4-star events on the global calendar this season. 

The tournament will take place in the Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra de Tijuca, the second time that the venue has hosted beach volleyball after an exhibition tournament took place there in February. 

It featured a men’s match between the Rio de Janeiro 2016, Olympic Games gold medallists Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt, and USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena and a women’s match that pitted Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda Lisboa Santos against Ana Patricia and Rebecca Silva.


“I've played twice on a tennis court, in Cincinnati in the USA, and in Umag in Croatia at the U-21 World Cup and it's been a very good experience,” said Rio native Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhaes, who will form an all-Carioca team with Pedro Solberg. “The structure is excellent, everything is easy and I hope Rio is equally good. 

“It's always a different game to play at home. With friends and family around, we will have all the fans in our favour and we will use them as the third player in our team.”

It will be the third straight season in which Rio has hosted a World Tour event and the players will be competing for a share in the $300,000 purse. 

More than 1,700 tons of sand have been used and it took a week to erect the court, with five outer courts being built to complement centre court, which has a capacity of 7,000. 


It is the first time that a Brazilian venue has hosted a World Tour competition on a converted tennis court, but Rome hosted the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and Prague, Gstaad and Hamburg all used converted tennis courts for their World Tour events. 

“The arena is very imposing, beautiful, with a structure of locker rooms and rooms to relax in,” Rio 2016 Olympian Talita Antunes said. “It will be a different climate from what we are accustomed to, with the chance for more fans to come and watch and we want to play good beach volleyball for them.” 


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