Alison and Emanuel back on song to win Brazil Tour opener
Having played with different partners at the recent Moscow Grand Slam, the 2011 FIVB world champions and FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour winners were back together on court and showed that they are still a team to be feared. The final was a repeat of the 2011 World Championships final, though this time Alison and Emanuel had to fight back from losing the first set to win 2-1 (19-21, 21-16 and 15-13).
The bronze medals went to Berlin Grand Slam winners Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves, while Emanuel was named player of the tournament.
“I don’t think many people expected this to be the final; four Olympic medallists deciding the first leg,” Emanuel said. “Marcio, Ricardo and I have a lot of years between us and it is very rewarding to be champion again especially as there are so many young players coming through.
“It is still wonderful to be playing alongside Alison and playing at such a high level. I can only thank him. Marcio and Ricardo form a very experienced duo, who understand exactly what they have to do. There are also some very strong younger partnerships coming through such as Pedro (Salgado) and Bruno (Oscar Schmidt), Evandro and Vitor Felipe and this younger generation will be flying in a year, then it will be difficult to handle.”
Alison and Emanuel have had a tough season so far and while they won the World Cup Final in Campinas at the start of the season, they finished fourth at the World Championships and have yet to finish on the World Tour podium this season.
However, they were back to their powerful best in Recife and clearly enjoyed the experience.
“Emanuel is a legend; he is beach volleyball’s Pele. I am privileged to be playing with Emanuel,” Alison said. “Losing our (world) title has given us a lot of motivation and I missed winning, I needed to win. Now we want to do well at my home tournament in Vitoria.”