Turin, Italy, September 25, 2010 – France won its opening match at the FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship, beating the Czech Republic 25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-10 in Pool E at the Palasport Ruffini in Turin, Italy.
France were made to work hard for their victory with the Czechs holding firm until the final set, giving fans of both teams the jitters. France's Antonin Rouzier scored a match-high 28 points, while team-mate Nicolas Marechal added 16 points. Czech Republic's Jan Stokr tallied 26 points and team-mate Peter Platenik scored 15 points.
France went into a 5-0 lead in the first set thanks to some powerful serving from Hardy-Dessources. Czech Republic coach Jan Svodoba soon had to ask for the first timeout of the match, by which time France were leading 8-2 with a strong showing in both serving and attacking. The Czechs were playing catch-up for most of the first set, trailing at one stage by nine points, and it was only at the end of the set that they began to find their rhythm.
The second set was a different story, with a more confident Czech team serving more incisively, and Jacub Vesely and Stokr inspired them to level the match with strong attacking performances. During the third set the French opened up a 16-13 lead but the Czechs pegged them back to 17-17. However France, with four consecutive points thanks largely to Rouzier, the star of the second set and of the match, eventually made it 2-1 in sets.
The fourth set was tight again and French coach Philippe Blain called for a timeout with his side trailing 9-10 immediately after the first TTO. The end of the set was very well balanced with both teams alternating serving errors, strong spikes and quick hits. The French team reached their first match point at 24-23 but the Czechs held their nerve, scoring off the French block on the last point to take the set 26-24.
The last set began in an electric atmosphere with plenty of support for both teams who exchanged point for point. The teams changed ends at 8-7 to the Czech Republic but at 11-10 to France a serving error by the Czechs opened the door for France who charged through it to clinch the decider 15-10.