Vienna, Austria, August 4, 2019 - With inclement weather forcing the movement of the women's gold medal at the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch from Saturday afternoon to here Sunday morning, the beach volleyball fans in the Austria capital will have bonus play on the sixth of final day of the FIVB World Tour event.
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Being played on The Donauinsel, Sunday's schedule at the US$600,000 A1 Major Vienna already featured the final four matches for men where defending event champions Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway are competing with pairs from Brazil, Poland and the United States for the gold medal and the $40,000 first-place prize.
The A1 Major Vienna women's title match features sixth-seeded Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado challenging second-seeded and newly-crowned FIVB world champions Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Canada with the first serve at 11:30 a.m. (local time).
If FIVB World Tour history counts for anything, Antonelli and Carolina could top the podium as the Brazilian pair has won three of five international meetings with the Canadians. In addition, Pavan is 0-4 against Brazilian pairs in World Tour gold medal matches with two of those setbacks Humana-Paredes.
In the Canadians' favor, Humana-Paredes and Pavan won the last match with Antonelli and Carolina 24 days ago in the Beach Major Series stop in Switzerland. Also, Humana-Paredes and Pavan could be fresher in playing only five matches this week compared to the Brazilians seven due to their participation in Tuesday's qualifier.
The men’s semi-finals Sunday start at 1 p.m., with the first match pitting fifth-seeded Alison Cerutti and Álvaro Filho of Brazil against 14th-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States in the first FIVB World Tour match between the two teams.
Sunday’s second semi-final at 2:15 p.m. features a rematch of last year’s Vienna finalists as top-seeded Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway plays sixth-seeded Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland. It will be the eighth meeting between the two teams with the Norwegians leading 5-2 with five-straight victories.
Four of Mol and Sorum's wins in the streak have been in World Tour gold medal matches. In the 2018 Vienna gold medal match, the Norwegians posted a 2-0 (21-12, 21-17) win in 38 minutes over Bryl and Fijalek. Two of the title wins for Mol and Sorum have been this season in the United States at Las Vegas and in Brazil at Itapema.
Christian Sorum (left) of Norway hitting against Poland's Michal Bryl in the 2018 A1 Major Vienna gold medal match.
Mol and Sorum ended their 2017-2018 season by defeating Bryl and Fijalek in the gold medal match at the FIVB World Tour Finals in a mid-August contest at Hamburg, Germany. Both of the Polish wins over Mol and Sorum were in June 2017 in Moscow and in March 2018 on Fort Lauderdale beach in the United States.
The men's medal matches are scheduled 4:45 and 6 p.m. as the FIVB World Tour concludes its third visit to Vienna where the city on the Danube hosted the 2017 world championships and a Beach Major Series stop in 2018.