Austrians one step away from matching career best
August 23, 2014 – Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst continued their progress at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam by reaching the men’s semifinals on Saturday.
They will now play FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour champions Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs for a place in the gold medal match on Sunday, while Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Alvaro Filho will take on USA’s Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson in the other.
The Austrian pair faced a tricky challenge against the Netherlands Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst, but continued their impressive form with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) victory.
“We knew that Reinder Nummerdor has been playing for a long time and has won almost everything already and is a really good player,” Horst said. “We call the other one ‘the animal’ because his serving was unbelievable and he was blocking everything.
“I think we really played well and it was a good level, but we always had a few points and that made the difference in the sets.”
Doppler and Horst have good memories from Stare Jablonki; two years ago they reached their first and so far only World Tour gold medal match before they lost to Janis Smedins and Martins Plavins.
“We always play well here, or so it looks,” Horst said. “We knew it was going to be hard, but if we play like this we can beat anybody.”
Alvaro aiming to return to Stare Jablonki podium
Alvaro Filho is another player aiming to repeat a prior visit to the Stare Jablonki podium.
In 2013 as a rookie player he and Brazilian player Ricardo Santos reached the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships final, but they had to settle for silver having lost to the Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen.
He recently teamed up with Pedro and they defeated the USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) to reach the last four.
“It is always a close match against Phil and Sean and we respect them a lot,” Alvaro said. “Last year was my first World Championships and it was amazing and I owe Ricardo so much and I learned so much from him.
“It is a good start with Pedro. There is a really good energy and he is really intense on the court and I’m here to grow with him and learn from him. I still have a lot to learn.”
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.