FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Fortaleza Open 2016 | 26 avril - 1 mai 2016


Press release

Vitor/Alvaro progress as men’s pool play rounds complete at Fortaleza Open

After two straight set pool plays match wins Wednesday, Brazil's Vitor Felipe, left and Alvaro Filho are pleased with their play heading into Thursday's final pool play match and single elimination rounds at the double-gender FIVB Fortaleza Open.

Fortaleza, Brazil, April 27, 2016 — Growing up in the shadows of all the iconic Brazilian beach volleyball players while earning medals in FIVB Age Group World Championships to wait their turn to become stars on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, part of the next generation teams of Brazilian stars has reunited and Wednesday in their home country. Fifth-seeded Vitor Felipe and Alvaro Filho won both of their first two pool play matches during the first day of men’s main draw play at the FIVB Fortaleza Open.

Brazil’s Vitor/Alvaro, both now 25, defeated teams from Switzerland and Austria assuring themselves to advance from their final pool play match Thursday to the single-elimination rounds at this week’s double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open, which marks the first time since 2007 that the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has played in Fortaleza.

Fortaleza Open website
Main draw results - Men
Main draw results - Women

The double-gender $150,000 FIVB Fortaleza Open started Tuesday and concludes on Sunday. It is the 11th men’s event of the season and eighth women’s event on the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour that started with three events at the end of 2015. The FIVB Fortaleza Open is being played at the purpose built stadium at Praia do Futuro in Fortaleza, site of last week’s season finale of the Brazilian National Tour.

On Wednesday, Brazil’s fifth-seeded Vitor/Alvaro opened pool play by defeating Switzerland’s 28th-seeded Quentin Metral/Michiel Zandbergen in straight sets, 21-17, 21-15 in 37 minutes. In their second match, Vitor/Felipe stopped Austria’s 21st-seeded Peter Eglseer/Daniel Mullner, 21-16, 21-15 in 34 minutes.

On Thursday, Brazil’s Vitor/Alvaro complete pool play by challenging Austria’s 12th seeded Christoph Dressler/Thomas Kunert, also 2-0 in their pool in pool-deciding early-morning match.

Following the morning match Alvaro was mildly pleased with his team’s performance. “We started out very slow, moving in slow motion and got behind by five points early in the first set, so we called time out and said to each other ‘wake up we can win in two sets’ and fortunately, we did battle back won the first set,” remarked Alvaro after their opening win. “After that we had our rhythm and stayed in control to win the match in two. Vitor and I have played together since we were kids and sometimes we need a wake-up call to do go out and do what we can do.”

The FIVB Fortaleza Open is a double-gender event with 31 main draw teams for men and 28 for women. For the men, a qualification tournament on Tuesday was held to determine the final spot in the main draw followed by two days of round robin pool play. The top three teams in the eight pools (24 total teams) will advance from pool play to the single-elimination knockout rounds. Women begin their pool play on Thursday and conclude on Friday.

On Saturday, the quarterfinals and semifinals for both genders will be played. The medal matches for both genders will all be played on Sunday with the awarding ceremony following the last gold medal match concluding the event.

While this is their 11th FIVB World Tour event together, Vitor has played in 42 total events, Alvaro in 38 and both have earned two FIVB World Tour gold medals. While Vitor/Alvaro have earned two silver medals as a team in FIVB Age Group World Championship events, their best finish as a duo on the FIVB World Tour has been their fourth place finish at this year’s FIVB Maceio Open.

Like several other players in this tournament, Brazil’s Vitor/Alvaro used FIVB Age Group World Championships as launching pads for their FIVB World Tour careers. In all, VitorAlvaro won two silver medals as a team and Vitor added an addition silver and bronze medal to his resume before moving on.

In their short careers, both players have been paired with many of the top players in Brazilian beach volleyball history. Vitor has played 20 FIVB World Tour events with Evandro Goncalves, 11 with Filho, seven with Neilton Santos, three with Alison Cerutti and one with Ricardo Santos. Vitor’s gold medals were won with Evandro in 2013 in Berlin and with Alison in 2013 in Xiamen, China.

Alvaro has played 20 tournaments with Ricardo, 11 with Vitor, three with Neilton Santos, two with Pedro Solberg and one each with Edgon Barros and Benjamin Insfran. Alvaro’s two FIVB gold medals were won with Ricardo in Gstaad in 2013 and with Pedro in Stare Jablonki in 2014. Alvaro also won two silver medals, two bronze and had one fourth place finish in his tenure with Ricardo.

Another highly-touted team without much FIVB World Tour experience with a 2-0 start in pool play is Brazil’s 22nd-seeded Oscar Brandao/Andre Loyola. Statistically coming in as an underdog, Pulling off two upsets of higher-seeded teams, Brazil’s Oscar/Andre begin pool play by defeating Argentina’s 11th-seeded Pablo Bianchi/Julian Azaad in straight sets, 21-16, 21-14 in 33 minutes. Later in the afternoon, Oscar, 30, and Andre, 21, who are playing in just their fifth FIVB World Tour event, stunned Germany’s sixth-seeded Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik in twin sets, 21-16, 21-18 in a 34-minute match.  

A big upset in the first day of men’s pool play saw Brazil’s 30th-seeded George Souto Wanderley/Joalisson Gomes knocked off Mexico’s third-seeded Ontiveros Lombardo/Juan Virgen in just two sets, 21-15, 21-19 in 34 minutes. George, just 19 who won the FIVB U-19 World Championship in 2014, and Jo finished their day by stopping Norway’s 14th-seeded Iver Horrem/Eithun Geir, 21-16, 21-12 in 33 minutes.

The surprise upset also ended the evening session as Brazil’s top-seeded 2016 Olympians Pedro Salgado/Evandro Goncalves lost their first of two pool play matches in the reduced three-team pool where all three teams will advance to the main draw Thursday afternoon. To pull off the surprise victory in the first meeting between the two teams, Norway’s Kvasmsdal/Sorum came from one set down to win in three sets, 15-21, 21-15 and 17-15 in 43 minutes. Kvamsdal, 26, and Sorum, 20, are playing in just their seventh FIVB World Tour event as a team and have three best finishes of 17th place including last week in China at the Fuzhou Open. Norway’s Krasmsdal/Sorum also won their first match of the day against a duo from Argentina.

Also with unblemished 2-0 marks are USA’s second-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, Chile’s seventh-seeded cousins Marco Grimalt/Esteban Grimalt, Brazil’s, 10th-seeded Gustavo Carvalhaes/Saymon Barbosa, Israel’s 20th-seeded Sean Faiga/Ariel Hilman, and Brazil’s 25th-seeded Luciano Ferreira/Marcio Araujo.

All totaled at this year’s FIVB Fortaleza Open there are 28 total players who have final four finishes at some time in their roots in FIVB Age Group World Championships, 14 in each gender, including six men who have won eight gold medals and 11 women who have won 17 combined gold medals.

The FIVB sanctions and produces four FIVB Age Group World Championships, U-23, U-21, U-19 and U-17. This year the FIVB will be conducting two of this championships, the FIVB U-21 World Championships on May 11-16 in Lucerne, Switzerland and the FIVB U-19 World Championships on July 26-31 in Larnaka, Cyprus.

Top final four finishers entered in the FIVB Fortaleza Open are players from the top men’s and top women’s seeds.  For the men, Brazil’s Pedro Solberg, who has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Evandro Goncalves, earned six total final four finishes, including three gold medals in his developing career. For the women, Barbara Seixas, the reigning FIVB World Champion who has qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Agatha Bednarczuk, has earned five total medals in FIVB Age Group World Championships including three gold medals and two silver medals.

The gold medal teams at the FIVB Fortaleza Open will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 400 points and fourth place $4,500 and 450 points.

With placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continuing, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour has resumed with events over eight straight weeks through the end of May. In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio and Vitoria, this week’s FIVB Fortaleza Open (April 26-May 1) and the Brazil events conclude with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

The FIVB World Tour heads to Europe FIVB Fortaleza Open. Up first will be in Russia for the FIVB Sochi Open (May 3-8) followed by the FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (May 11-15). The tour then visits the United States for the FIVB Cincinnati Open (May 17-22) and then returns to Russia for the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam (May 24-29).

The FIVB Fortaleza Open in Brazil is the 340th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 301st FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

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