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Pedro/Bruno keep winning momentum at Xiamen Grand Slam

Strong blocking performance helped Pedro/Bruno take two consecutive come-from-behind victories.

Xiamen, China, October 23, 2013 – Newly crowned Sao Paulo Grand Slam champions Pedro Solberg Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil kept their winning momentum at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Grand Slam as they posted two come-from-behind victories here on Wednesday in the pool play of the men’s Main Draw.

Following an 2-1 (12-21, 21-14, 15-6) win over France’s Yannick Salvetti/Jean-Baptiste Daguerre in the morning, Pedro/Bruno needed to rally from one set down again before overcoming Italy’s Alex Ranghieri/Andrea Tomatis in full sets (19-21, 21-15, 15-10) to lead pool B with a 2-0 win-loss record.

“They were so great and played so well. I couldn't find a way to get out of that situation. But in the second set we calmed down, and we have nice shots and we cheer with each other. That's why we got a good score,” said Pedro after the match with Ranghieri/Tomatis.

Having reaped three World Tour gold medals in Shanghai with his former partner Harley Marques in 2007, 2008 and 2010, Pedro would love to keep the winning momentum and his good luck in China.

“We hope to keep winning and have a harvest season in this year," Pedro said. "I am so excited for the Xiamen Grand Slam. It is so important. I love playing in China. I had good results in Shanghai and I hope I can also do well here. This is my first trip to Xiamen. It’s very nice and I am so excited.”

Alison Cerutti and Vitor Goncalves Felipe of Brazil also set off to a fine start in Xiamen, winning a pair of matches to stay atop of pool G. After rallying past Evandro Goncalves Oliveira/Emanual Rego 2-1 (15-21, 21-16, 15-6) in an all-Brazilian contention in the morning, Alison/Vitor romped past Swiss tandem Alexei Prawdzic/Sebastian Chevallier 21-10 and 21-17 in the afternoon.

“I am very happy with the wins, it’s only the second time I play with Alison, last time was in Moscow,” said Vitor, who changed side of court with Alison. “Now I have to play in different position and I think it’s a good experience. We just want to play the best volleyball and we want to go as far as we can.”

Ricardo Alex Costa Santos/Alvaro Morais Filho were not as lucky as their Brazilian compatriots. Following an opening 2-0 win over Wiliam Montgomery/Stafford Slick of the United States, the third seeds were upset by the 19th seeded Russian duo Ruslan Bykanov/Yaroslav Koshkarev 2-0 (22-20, 21-18) in a second round pool C match. Austria’s Lorenz Petutschnig/Alexander Horst now led pool C with two wins against no loss.

Other teams undefeated so far in the pool play were Pablo Herrera Allepuz/Adrian Gavira Collado (Spain), Chen Cheng/Yang Cong (China), Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Netherlands) Jon Stiekema/Christiaan Varenhorst (Netherlands), Nicolai Paolo/Daniele Lupo (Italy) and Robin Seidl/Alexander Huber (Austria).

Thirty-two teams are playing 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 Xiamen Grand Slam is the last of a record 10 Grand Slam events on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar with the women’s Main Draw to start on Thursday.

China has hosted more than 23 women’s and 14 men’s tournaments on the FIVB World Tour, but this is the first visit for an FIVB international beach volleyball event in the city of Xiamen. The event in Xiamen is one of three FIVB international beach volleyball events being held in China this year. The first was the 2013 FIVB Open tournament held in Fuzhou on April 23 to 28, followed by the Shanghai Grand Slam, which took place from April 30 to May 5, 2013.

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