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Defending Gstaad champions Dalhausser & Lucena remain in contention

 
Playing on an outside court in Gstaad, Swiss-born Phil Dalhausser (centre) watches his American partner Nick Lucena (right) hit at the Beach Major Series net against compatriot Theo Brunner.
Gstaad Switzerland, July 12, 2018 - Defending Gstaad Major champions Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena rebounded from a Wednesday afternoon setback to advance to Friday’s elimination rounds by ousting compatriots Theo Brunner and John Hyden here Thursday afternoon in the first round of bracket play in the $600,000 FIVB World Tour event.


Winners of the 2017 FIVB World Tour Finals in Germany (Hamburg last August) and the Fort Lauderdale Major in early March, the fifth-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena posted a 2-0 (21-12, 21-14) victory in 29-minutes over 14th-seeded Brunner and Hyden.

Dalhausser and Lucena, who defeated Brunner and Hyden twice last month on the American domestic tour in Seattle and New York City, will play eighth-seeded Mirco Gerson and Adrian Heidrich of Switzerland in their second elimination match Friday with the winner advancing to the quarter-finals to play either 17th-seeded Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland or 12th-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy.

Olympic silver medal winner Daniele Lupo of Italy

Competing together for the third-time together in Gstaad after placing second in 2016, Dalhausser and Lucena had a 19-match Beach Major Series winning streak snapped Wednesday afternoon by 21st-seeded Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb in the finals of Pool E by dropping a 2-1 (24-22, 17-21, 13-15) decision in 50 minutes to their American rivals.

Americans Jake Gibb (left), Taylor Crabb (centre) and Nick Lucena in action Wednesday at the Gstaad Major

Crabb and Gibb, who have a 3-3 overall match mark against Dalhausser/Lucena with two straight wins, play 19th-seeded Jasper Bouter/Christiaan Varenhorst of The Netherlands Friday in an opening elimination match.

The men’s Gstaad Major features two rounds of elimination leading to Saturday’s semifinal and medal matches. The women’s schedule features pool two rounds of elimination bracket play Friday, quarterfinal matches Saturday and the final four rounds Sunday. The winning teams per gender will share the $40,000 first-place prizes.


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