Moscow, Russia, August 15, 2019 – Wild cards Gustavo Albrecht Carvalhaes & Saymon Barbosa Santos of Brazil, who advanced to the men’s main draw at the four-star Moscow stop on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour from Wednesday’s qualifications, continued their winning streak on Thursday, snatching two come-from-behind tie-breaker wins to top Pool D and progress directly to the round of 16, along with seven other pairs.
Guto & Saymon, seeded 20th in the main draw, opened Pool D action with a 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 15-13) comeback against experienced Spaniards Pablo Herrera Allepuz & Adrian Gavira Collado. In the pool final, the Brazilians did it again – a 2-1 (17-21, 21-18, 15-9) turnaround against fourth-seeded Dutchmen Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen.
23rd-seeded Belgians Dries Koekelkoren & Tom van Walle achieved a similar feat in their Pool G, coming back from a set down in each of their two matches and topping the pool standings – 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 15-12) against Germany’s Nils Ehlers & Lars Flueggen and 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-11) against seventh-seeded Brazilians Andre Loyola Stein & George Souto Maior Wanderley.
Belgium’s Koekelkoren & Van Walle in action
Another duo coming into the main draw from qualifications, Poland’s Maciej Rudol & Jakub Szalankiewicz, became the lowest seeded team to win their pool on Thursday. Playing under #29 out of 32 main draw pairs, Rudol & Szalankiewicz mastered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-19) shutout of prominent Brazilians Evandro Goncalves Oliveira Junior & Bruno Oscar Schmidt, seeded third, and followed up with a 2-1 (21-13, 17-21, 15-12) win over Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich & Mirco Gerson to make the last 16 as Pool C winners.
Pool F was conquered by Jacob Gibb & Taylor Crabb. The 11th-seeded Americans earned a hard-fought 2-0 (21-19, 25-23) victory over Austrian standouts Clemens Doppler & Alexander Horst and then crafted a 2-1 (17-21, 21-18, 15-13) turnaround against thriving Germans Julius Thole & Clemens Wickler, seeded sixth.
Russia’s Konstantin Semenov gestures to his partner in their match against Ukraine
Konstantin Semenov & Ilya Leshukov also managed to slightly break the seeding. In the Pool H final, the ninth-seeded Russians defeated eighth-seeded Czechs Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner 2-0 (21-18, 21-15), after earning a 2-0 (30-28, 21-16) victory over Ukraine’s Sergiy Popov & Iaroslav Gordieiev in the first leg.
“It’s good that we were able to get together with such a short rest after the first game. It turned out it activated our forces, improved our condition and we were able to win eventually,” commented Leshukov. “Ahead of us is a round of playoffs. We will prepare with all responsibility and we will try to show a good result.”
The home fans, who stayed on the centre court stands through the very end of the long competition day, were rewarded with a nail-biting 2-0 (25-23, 28-26) victory for Russia’s Nikita Liamin & Taras Myskiv over fifth-seeded Italians Paolo Nicolai & Daniele Lupo in the winners’ match of Pool E. Earlier in the day, Liamin & Myskiv mastered another hard-fought straight-setter – 2-0 (25-25, 21-15) over Austria’s Robin Seidl & Philipp Waller.
“The Italian team is a strong opponent. It is always interesting to play against such an opponent. The match turned out to be very difficult, but luck was on our side today,” commented Liamin.
In fact, the only pool seeding leaders, who were able to live up to the expectations and claim their direct tickets to the second elimination round, were number one Viacheslav Krasilnikov & Oleg Stoyanovskiy of Russia and number two Alison Cerutti & Alvaro Morais Filho of Brazil.
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