Ostrava, Czech Republic, May 29, 2019 – Exactly half of Wednesday’s men’s qualification matches at the four-star J&T Banka Ostrava Beach Open 2019 on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour were resolved in tie-breaker third sets, with two pairs each from Austria, Germany and USA and one each from Brazil and Canada making the 32-team main draw.
Reigning world champion Andre Loyola Stein and his partner George Souto Maior Wanderley, the top-seeded team in the qualification bracket, who made it here through Tuesday’s country quota game for Brazil, started the day with a speedy 2-0 (21-14, 21-11) win over Slovakia’s Lubos Nemec & Patrik Pokopec, but then 16th-seeded Poles Maciej Rudol & Jakub Szalankiewicz made them work for it in the second qualification round. In what proved to be the longest match of the day, Andre had to resort to a spectacular one-hand block to close off the game with a 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 16-14) victory after 53 minutes of play.
“This was a very hard game against very good players. Qualifying is always difficult, so we are quite happy,” said Andre.
“We finished third last weekend in Jinjiang, yesterday we had to play country quota, and today we played another two games to get to the main draw. It’s been a very tight schedule and we are very tired, but it’s quite rewarding to continue playing at this beautiful venue,” George added.
Canada vs. Spain in second qualification round action
23rd-seeded Michael Plantinga & Aaron Nusbaum of Canada, on the other hand, were the lowest ranked pair to qualify. They also did so after a 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) straight-setter against Turkey’s Murat Giginoglu & Volkan Gogtepe, followed by a hard-earned 2-1 (14-21, 21-18, 15-12) comeback against Spain’s Cesar Menendez Ortego & Alejandro Huerta Pastor.
Nils Ehlers & Lars Flueggen were one of the two teams that had to persevere through two tie-breakers to get to the main draw. The 20th-seeded Germans claimed a 2-1 (21-16, 13-21, 15-10) victory over Switzerland’s Nico Beeler & Marco Krattiger, before delivering a 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-12) upset of fourth-seeded Christiaan Varenhorst & Steven van de Velde of the Netherlands.
Austrians Martin Ermacora & Moritz Pristauz suffered through first-set damages against both of their opponents on Wednesday, but battled their way back to emerge victorious on both occasions – 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-10) over Switzerland’s Michiel Zandbergen & Gabriel Kissling and 2-1 (13-21, 21-18, 15-10) over USA’s Chase Budinger & Casey Patterson.
The other four duos, who booked their spots among the best 32 teams of the tournament, were Theodore Brunner & William Reid Priddy and William Allen & Stafford Slick, both of USA, Robin Seidl & Philipp Waller of Austria and Philipp Arne Bergmann & Yannick Harms of Germany.