Doppler and Horst play party poopers in Poland
August 21, 2014 – Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst silenced the centre court crowd at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam when they defeated local favourites and number one seeds Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek on the first day of the men’s main draw on Thursday.
The Austrians recovered from losing the opening set to win 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-13) and end the day with two wins from two. It was their second fightback of the day after they also lost the opening set against Brazil’s Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves before they won 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-7).
Second seeds Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won both their matches, but third seeds Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt also slipped up before they recovered to beat Canada’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk 2-1 (19-21, 22-20, 15-11).
The men complete pool play on Friday when the first elimination round will also take place.
The women’s draw meanwhile reached the second elimination round in which nine of the top 10 seeds will compete and by the end of Friday the line-ups for the semifinals on Saturday will be known.
Bansley and Pavan earn Canadian bragging rights and eye season’s best
Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan recovered from losing both their matches on the opening day of the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam to win twice and progress to the second knockout round.
They began the day by wrapping up pool play with a 2-0 (21-11, 21-15) victory over Sweden’s Camilla Nilsson and Tadva Yoken and then beat compatriots Jamie-Lyn Broder and Kristina Valjas 2-1 (21-12, 17-21-17, 15-12) in the first knockout round.
They now face Swiss pair Tanja Goricanec and Tanja Huberli, who went through pool play unbeaten.
“After yesterday we knew it was do or die in the pool and moving on,” Bansley said. “It was a new day and the start of a new tournament.
“I think there is always extra tension when you’re playing your compatriots and it was very competitive. There was a lot of energy on the court and a lot of celebrations from both sides.”
World Tour champs off to winning start
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour champions Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs were in determined mood as the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam men’s main draw started.
The Latvian pair started with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) win over their Baltic rivals Kristo Kollo and Rivo Vesik of Estonia before they ignored the cheers of a partisan centre court crowd to defeat Poland’s multi-age group world champions Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak 2-0 (21-14, 21-14).
Smedins has good memories of Stare Jablonki; in 2012 he and Martins Plavins won their first Grand Slam gold medals, a week after they had claimed bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“It has started well this tournament and I hope we continue like this,” Smedins said.
“Tomorrow we have another tough match, against Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson (USA) and they are not the easiest team to play against, so it will be a tough match.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam runs from Tuesday August 19 until Sunday August 24 when the men’s medal matches take place. It is the 13th event and the ninth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features 10 Grand Slams and nine Open tournaments.
The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Sao Paolo Grand Slam which runs from September 23-28.