Pedro/Emanuel claim full-set thriller to make Shanghai Grand Slam semis
Shanghai, China, May 2, 2014 – Brazilian Legend Emanuel Rego and his new partner Pedro Solberg Salgado made it into the men’s semifinals of the US$800,000 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Shanghai Grand Slam with a well-earned full-set victory over defending Shanghai Grand Slam champions Jacob Gibb/Casey Patterson of the United States in the quarter-finals here Friday afternoon.
After beating Vitor Goncalves Felipe and Evandro Goncalves Oliveira in straight sets (21-17, 21-17) in an all-Brazilian clash, Pedro/Emanuel rallied past Gibb/Patterson 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 15-9) in 53 minutes to reach the medal round for the first time in their second World Tour event together.
“What a game! It's usually the kind of game you see in the finals, because both of the teams were very well prepared,” said the 41-year-old Emanuel. “I am very glad to have Pedro in my team, because he played an amazing game. He blocked for so many times in the third set, at the most important moment of the set, so I think he deserved all the honor for this match.”
After splitting the first two sets with the Americans, Pedro/Emanuel jumped to an amazing 8-2 lead in the tiebreaker. Gibb/Patterson steadily pulled within 10-7 to force a time-out by Pedro/Emanuel, only to find them come back to wrap up the match with a 5-2 run.
“We changed our strategy during the game, because we saw them play very calm and consistent, and we tried to change strategy all the time, and in the third set we did well,” Emanuel added. “Our focus was serving well and giving Pedro chances to block and we did it successfully.”
Coming off a fifth finish at the season-opening Fuzhou Open, Pedro/Emanuel will try to get their first medal together in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour.
“It's our first chance to be there and we are very focused to play better, because we've learned a lot from the last weekend, and we knew we had to play better this week in Shanghai, because all the best teams are here for the Grand Slam,” said Emanuel. “I think it's a great moment for me and Pedro. We came back from Fuzhou very strong and I think we need to put the same energy for tomorrow.”
Newly-crowned Fuzhou Open champions Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo reached the medal round for the second tournament in a row as they scored a come-from-behind 2-1 (15-21, 21-18, 15-11) victory over top seeds Sean Rosenthal and Philip Dalhausser of the United States in the quarter-finals Friday afternoon. The other semifinal berths were taken by Latvia’s third seeds Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins and Germany’s 11th seeds Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik, 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-8) upset winners over Spain’s second seeds Pablo Herrera Allepuz/Adrian Gavira Collado in the last quarter-final match.
Earlier on Friday, American qualifiers John Hyden and Tri Bourne, who had won all three pool matches after advancing to the Main Draw through the lucky losers draw, were eliminated by Poland’s 16th seeds Michal Kadziola/Jakub Szalankiewicz 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) in the second rould of the knock-out stage.
The men’s semifinals and medal matchs of the first Grand Slam event of the season will be held on Saturday. The 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar features a record purse of US$10.2 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 21 venues in 18 countries. This year’s FIVB World Tour includes a record 10 FIVB Grand Slam events, the inaugural Grand Slam Finale and 11 FIVB Open Tournaments throughout the world, helping expand the door for development of the sport even further.
The 10 FIVB Grand Slam competitions, all double-gender, have eight with $800,000 in total purses while both The Hague, Netherlands and the Long Beach, Calif., USA event will have $1 million each in prize money, the most in FIVB Grand Slam history.
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