Swiss aim for more after claiming ninth place in Rome
After securing second place in their pool earlier in the day, they then needed only two sets to defeat Dutch veterans Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil 2-0.
“Reinder and Richard are a very good team, so to beat them 2-0 is very good for us,” Chevallier said. “I know they only just returned last week in The Hague and are maybe not in shape and maybe they are thinking about the World Champs, but we are still alive, top 10 and we can do more.”
The win sets up a second elimination round match against Brazilians Pedro Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, who are fresh from winning The Hague Grand Slam a week ago.
“They are an amazing team and are having such a strong run,” Chevallier added. “Our coach is Brazilian, so she certainly knows how to play against them. We had a tough game in Shanghai and unfortunately we lost, but tomorrow we can have our revenge.”
A year ago Chevallier finished on the podium after he and Sasha Heyer claimed the bronze medals. It was a highly successful tournament for the Swiss as Nadine Zumkehr and Simone Kuhn won the women’s gold medals and like Zumkehr, Chevallier is hopeful the memories can inspire him to further success.
“For me, last year was my first third at a Grand Slam and we earned our spot for the Olympics,” he said. “It is amazing to be back in Rome, this venue is amazing. I talked to Nadine today and we have such emotion and it is all coming to the boil, so let’s see what we can achieve.”
Dutch duo out to improve on recent best
Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen matched their best results of the season so far by reaching the second knockout round with a tough three-set 2-1 (21-13, 16-21, 15-13) win over Austria’s Robin Seidl and Alexander Huber.
The match paired two up and coming teams together and it was Brouwer and Meeuwsen who started the stronger. Seidl and Huber responded by showing the form that had earned them the Fuzhou Open bronze medals this year and while both sides pushed each other ferociously in the tie-break the Dutch held their nerves at the crucial times.
“It was a really tough game, 15-13 in the third, but my partner kept going and on every ball he gave 110 percent,” Brouwer said. “It worked out this time, we got some nice points and some nice blocks and it is a great feeling.”
Already this season the pair have finished ninth at The Hague, Corrientes and Shanghai Grand Slams, as well as reach the quarterfinals at the Fuzhou Open. Having matched their season’s best already in Rome, they now plan to improve further, but face Brazilian pair Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho in the second elimination round.
“Our goal was to get at least a ninth and we’ve got it now” Meeuwsen said. “We’ve got it a few times in a row and now it is time to get us a little bit further. We’ll start with fifth and the next match and then we’ll see.”
The Rome Grand Slam is the fourth Grand Slam of 10 on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The competition runs from June 17 until June 23, when both the men’s and women’s finals take place.
Following the Rome Grand Slam, the world’s leading players take a week’s break before the start of the ninth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stare Jablonki from July 1-7. After the World Championships are completed the World Tour resumes the following week at the Gstaad Grand Slam in the Swiss Alps.
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