Ricardo/Alvaro lead two Brazilian teams into Shanghai semis
Ricardo/Alvaro lead two Brazilian teams into Shanghai Grand Slam semis
Shanghai, China, May 3, 2013 – Ricardo Alex Costa Santos and Alvaro Morais Filho of Brazil had a tough day on Friday as they worked really hard to claim three wins in one day to lead two Brazilian teams into the men’s semifinals of the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Shanghai Grand Slam.
The 38-year-old Ricardo and the 22-year-old Alvaro outlasted Chinese hopefuls Xu Linyin/Gaopeng and the newly-crowned Fuzhou Open champions Sean Rosenthal/Philip Dalhausser of the United States in two full set matches before ousting Poland’s Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) to secure their second top four finish in as many events together.
“The Chinese team are very good and the second match was too tough for me,” said Alvaro, who had settled for the fourth place with Ricardo in their first event together in the Fuzhou Open last week. “Thank god we played very well in the third match. If we have a tiebreaker, we can have big problem.”
“Tomorrow will be another day and I have little time to rest. It was a tough day, but a good day for us,” he added. “Ricardo played very well and we helped each other very much. It’s our second tournament together and he is a teacher. ”
The age difference of Ricardo and Alvaro is close to the age of Ricardo’s son Pedro, who has been selected to the under-19 national team of Brazil, while Alvaro cherished the chance to play with Ricardo.
“I try to do my best and he is helping a lot, teaching me a lot, ” Alvaro said. “I have learned a lot from him. He is an amazing guy, not only on the court, but also out of the court. He is a very good person. ”
Beijing Olympic gold medallist Philip Dalhausser and his new partner Sean Rosenthal, the newly crowned Fuzhou Open champions, crashed out of the tournament after losing to Ricardo/Alvaro 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-13) in the second round of the elimination phase.
“Ricardo and Alvaro played pretty well. We had a questionable call going against us in the third set and that made a big difference, but that’s no excuse. They played great and we didn’t play our best volleyball, ” said Dalhausser. “This is only our second tournament of the year and there are so many good teams out there. It’s just one bad match.”
Despite the loss, Dalhausser is pretty confident in his combination with Rosenthal, putting his eyes on the World Championships set for Poland in July.
“(Our goal is) to win a couple of tournament, ” he said. “No. 1 goal is to win the World Championships, we’ll see. We set off in Fuzhou well and now had a little bit of setback, so we’ll see how we come back in the next tournament. ”
Winning a pair of elimination round matches on Friday, Bruno Oscar Schmidt/Pedro Solberg Salgado set up an all-Brazilian semifinal match against Ricardo/Alvaro.
The other two semifinal berths were taken by Poland’s Michal Kadziola/Jakub Szalankiewicz and Americans Jacob Gibb/Casey Patterson while Italy’s Nicolai Paolo/Daniele Lupo, the runners-up to Rosenthal/Dalhausser in the Fuzhou Open, were defeated by Poland’s Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek in a second round elimination match.
Gibb was pleasant to secure a top four finish with his new partner. “That’s huge for us, it’s our second tournament together. We are a new team, it means a lot, we are really excited, ” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do, we are really rough around the edges. We are getting better, that’s what matters. ”
The $220,000 Shanghai Grand Slam, the first of a FIVB-record 10 Grand Slam events on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar, will continue on Saturday with men’s semifinals and finals as well as two rounds of women’s elimination matches.