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German qualifiers upset Rogers/Doherty to make Shanghai Grand Slam Main Draw

Germany's Markus Bockermann (left) and Mischa Urbatzka celebrate their upset win over Beijing Olympic champion and Shanghai Grand Slam title holder Todd Rogers and his new partner Ryan Doherty of the United States

German qualifiers upset Rogers/Doherty to make Shanghai Grand Slam Main Draw

Shanghai, China, April 30, 2013 — German underdogs Mischa Urbatzka and Markus Bockermann advanced into the Main Draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Shanghai Grand Slam after pulling out the biggest upset of the men’s Qualification Tournmanet here on Tuesday.

Following a 21-15, 21-11 victory over Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak in the morning, Urbatzka and Bockermann swept Rogers/Doherty, the top seeds in the 32-team Qualification Tournament, 21-15 and 21-13 in 32 minutes Tuesday afternoon.

“I can't explain how Todd is playing in the qualifier, it was like years ago,” said Urbatzka. “He is a really good player, and last year he played really good and now he is in the qualifier, for us it's a bad draw any way, and I think we made that out of it.”

“Two years ago we played against Philip and Todd and we won, that's interesting,” Bockermann said. “Because you know they were the Olympic champions and we were really motivated.”

“We got nothing to lose, and we just tried the best we could. It's a good game from our side and definitely we are satisfied that we can qualify today,” Urbatzka added. “Our match was OK, but they made a few mistakes and we served really well, and they had pressure, and we had a lot of chances.”

The next goal for Urbatzka and Bockermann is to make it to the knockout stage in the 32-team Main Draw. “Our hope is to get out of the pool, maybe win the game,“ Bockermann said.

Rogers, who had clinched two titles in a row in the last two years in Shanghai with Phillip Dalhausser, was sent packing again following a disappointing 17th finish with his new partner Doherty in the season-opening Fuzhou Open last week.

The 30th seeded Maverick Hatch and Sam Schachter produced a pair of upset wins to join Christian Redmann/Josh Binstock in the Main Draw. Hatch/Schachter came from behind to beat third seeded Thiago Santos Barbosa/Henaldo Sabino Moreira from Brazil 19-21, 21-16, 13-15 in 48 minutes before ousting 14th seed Jorg Wutzl/Daniel Mullner from Austria 21-18 and 21-17 in the second and last round of the Qualification Tournament.

“It feels good. It’s our third year on tour and we feel like we’re right there,” said Hatch after the match that lasted for 32 minutes. “Sometimes we just let it slip away and today we were fortunate with a good draw and took advantage of it.”

“The match this morning we were a little curious how the weather was going to play out but it got nice. The Brazilians are always a tough challenge but we squeaked it out with a fortunate play to end that third set,” he added. “The second match it cleared up a bit and it turned into real beach volleyball and it was fun to play.”

Austria also advanced two teams into the Main Draw as Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst and Robin Seidl/Alexander Huber posted two wins each to secure their berths in Wednesday’s pool play.

Other teams making it to the men’s Main Draw are Philip Gabathuler/Jonas Weingart (Swizerland), Paolo Ingrosso/Matteo Ingrosso (Italy) and Christopher McHugh/Isaac Kapa (Australia)

Feature newly crowned Fuzhou Open champions Phil Dalhausser/ Sean Rosenthal of the Untied States, the men’s Main Draw tournament will start on Wednesday. Thirty-two teams will play a single round robin in eight groups with top three finishers from each group to advance to the 24-team knockout stage.

The double gender Shanghai Grand Slam is the first of a record 10 Grand Slam events on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar with the women’s Qualification Tournament scheduled for Wednesday.

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