Spanish pair out to match compatriots achievements in Gstaad
The Spaniards began with a 2-1 (22-24, 22-20, 15-11) win over Poland’s Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor before rounding off the day with a 2-0 (21-16, 25-23) defeat of German duo Sebastian Dollinger and Lars Fluggen.
“It is difficult to play your best in this weather because it is cold and it makes it tough for my knees and ankles, but we won twice, so we’re happy.
“This season we have been consistent and we regularly finish fifth or ninth. We just need another win to reach the semifinals and we will try to get to a semifinal this month.”
After winning bronze in Berlin they then finished fourth at the Sao Paolo Grand Slam later that year. So far in 2014 they have reached Grand Slam quarterfinals three times and finished fourth at the CEV European Championships.
In the meantime their female compatriots Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo have firmly established themselves as a team that knows their way to the latter stages of a tournament and in the most recent competition they enjoyed their best ever finish with silver at the Stavanger Grand Slam.
“We need to be more aggressive with our block and defence,” Pablo added. “Our sideout is fine, but we need more aggressiveness.
“They are playing really well and I hope they win a Grand Slam gold medal. We are both Spanish teams in the top 10 and that is something we are very proud of.”
Germans out to balance the ledger against World Tour champs
Also starting out with two wins from two were German pair Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik.
They began with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) win over Canada’s Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton and then followed up by defeating USA’s Todd Rogers and Theodore Brunner 2-0 (21-16, 21-18).
“We are happy with the day,” Erdmann said. “Both games were 2-0 so it sounds great, but it wasn’t so and we had to be really concentrated against Todd just now.
“He is a tough guy to play against and knows how to play the game. We had to fight for every point and managed to do it, so it was a good result.”
Next up for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships bronze medallists are World Tour champions Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs.
The Latvian pair have not yet hit the heights of 2013 and lost both their matches in Gstaad. However, earlier in the season they did beat Erdmann and Matysik in the Shanghai Grand Slam semifinals before they went on to win silver and the Germans bronze.
“We haven’t played that well against the Latvians, so we would like to change that,” Erdmann said. “Every game starts 0-0, so we will see. If we win then it will be only one game tomorrow, so we will give it 120 percent.”