Vienna, Austria, August 1, 2019 - Highlighting the men's schedule here Thursday at the US$600,000 A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch will be Pool H action where host country favorites Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst are competing in the group with rivals from Germany and Switzerland.
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Seeded eighth in the group, Doppler and Horst open play Thursday against 25th-seeded Mirco Gerson/Adrian Heidrich of Switzerland at 12:30 p.m. (local time) followed by a late afternoon match against one of two German teams - Julius Thole/Clemens Wickler or 24th-seeded qualifiers Nils Ehlers/Lars Fluggen.
In their first match Thursday, Doppler and Horst will be seeking their first win in four FIVB World Tour meetings with Gerson and Heidrich, who defeated the Austrians three weeks ago in pool play on their home sand in Switzerland at the Gstaad Major.
If the Austrians play Thole and Wickler in their second group match Thursday, it will be a confrontation between two teams that claimed silver medals at the last two FIVB World Championships. Doppler and Horst placed second at the 2017 worlds in Vienna and the Germans claimed their world championship silver medal four weeks ago on home sand in Hamburg.
The A1 Major Vienna format is reversed Thursday where the men's schedule features 32 pool play matches that ousts eight teams from the international beach volleyball event while the women slate features eight elimination bracket contests to reduce the gender's field to 16 pairs.
Wednesday’s schedule contained the women's 32-match pool play program where eight pairs advanced to Friday's second round of elimination after winning group titles. The day's men's program saw eight teams win main draw berths in the final qualifying round in a tournament returning to the Austrian capital for the third-straight season.
The defending A1 Major Swatch champions will also be action on center court Thursday with Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sorum competing in men’s Pool A with pairs Austria, Poland and Russia with their first match at 10:30 a.m. against the host country pair of Martin Ermacora/Moritz Pristauz-Telsnigg.
2018 A1 Major Vienna winners Christian Sorum (left) and Anders Mol of Norway
Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic, the 2018 A1 Major Vienna winners, meet German rivals Karla Borger/Julia Sude at 1:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to Friday’s Round of 16 elimination match against top-seeded Alix Klineman/April Ross of the United States.
The A1 Major Vienna concludes this weekend with the women’s final four matches Saturday followed by the men’s semi-finals and medal contests Sunday. The winning teams will share the $40,000 first-place prizes along with collecting 1,200 qualifying points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.