Vitor/Evandro battle into Shanghai Grand Slam Main Draw
Shanghai, China, April 29, 2014 – After wasting four match points, last year’s Berlin Grand Slam champions Vitor Gonçalves Felipe and Evandro Oliveira of Brazil finally converted on the fifth here Tuesday afternoon to collect an important qualifying victory that secured their berth in the men’s Main Draw of the US$800,000 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Shanghai Grand Slam.
Fuzhou Open bronze medallists Jon Stiekema and Christiaan Varenhorst from the Netherlands, Qatar’s Tiago De J Santos and Jefferson Santos and five other teams also advanced to the 32-team Main Draw tournament which will start on Wednesday.
Taking the first set 22-20 and leading 20-16 in the second over Jonas Kissling and Mats Kovatsch of Switzerland, Vitor/Evandro allowed their opponents level it at 20-all despite calling a time-out at 20-18. Then Vitor came up big with a kill to make it 21-20 and Evandro stopped ice Kovatsch to wrap up the match in 41 minutes.
Vitor, who had paired with Evandro win the Berlin Grand Slam before taking the Xiamen Grand Slam title together with Alison Cerutti in 2013, reunited with Evandro at the start of this season, but failed to make the Main Draw of the Fuzhou Open last week. Shifting from Fuzhou to Shanghai, Vitor/Evandro are pretty sure they will perform much better in the first Grand Slam event of the season.
“We prepared much better for this tournament, we will do our best in Shanghai,“ said Evandro.
Stiekema/Varenhorst, the second seeds in the 24-team qualification tournament, eliminated Norway’s Morten Kvamsdal/Hordvik Oivind 2-0 (22-20, 21-19).
Playing for Qatar for the first season, De J Santos/Santos Pereira recorded the country’s best result at any FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event, a ninth, at the Fuzhou Open last week and continued their impressive run in Shanghai, beating Venezuela’s Igor Hernandez and Jesus Villafañe in straight sets (21-13, 21-13) and Swiss duo Alexei Prawdzic/Sebastian Chevallier 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) to join the winners of the 24-team qualification tournament.
“As the only team from Qatar, we are fortunate and proud to win this match,” said Santos Pereira. “My wife is a model and she must be waiting for my good news at home. I can not wait to call her.”
Other teams making it to the men’s Main Draw are Paolo Ingrosso/Matteo Ingrosso (Italy), Nicholas Lucena/Ryan Doherty (USA), Iver Andreas Horrem/Geir Eithun (Norway), Robin Seidl/Alexander Huber (Austria) and Armin Dollinger/Clemens Wickler (Germany).
Featuring newly crowned Fuzhou Open champions Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo of Italy and Shanghai Grand Slam title holders Jacob Gibb/Casey Patterson of USA, the men’s Main Draw tournament will start on Wednesday morning. Thirty-two teams will play a single round robin in eight groups with top three finishers from each group to advance to the 24-team knockout stage.
Last week’s season-opening US$150,000 FIVB Fuzhou Open got things go in resounding fashion. Italy, Brazil and the Netherlands won the men’s medals and USA, Brazil and China captured the podium in the women’s competition. The FIVB Fuzhou Open was the season opener for the 2014 FIVB World Tour and the first of seven double-gender FIVB Open tournaments on the 2014 calendar.
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 US$1 million each in prize money, the most in FIVB Grand Slam history.