Three consecutive days of excellent play have established Italian qualifiers Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri as the most dominant team in this week's Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Doha, Qatar, and also took them to the semifinals of the tournament at the Aspire Park sports complex.
Unstoppable Carambula and Ranghieri into Doha Elite16’s medal rounds
The Italians extend their undefeated streak in Qatar to five matches
Published 07:24, 04 Feb 2023
Undefeated in their first five matches in Doha, the Olympians will face reigning Olympic and world champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway in the semifinals, on Sunday, at 19:00 local time (16:00 UTC). Set to begin one hour earlier, the other duel for a spot in the final will reunite Poland’s Michal Bryl/Bartosz Losiak and Sweden’s David Åhman/Jonatan Hellvig.
The top-seeded team in the qualifier heading into the Doha Elite16 event, Carambula and Ranghieri have been absolutely unstoppable in Qatar, having won all five matches played so far without dropping a single set.
Their excellent run of form continued on Saturday, when they delivered another strong performance to sweep (21-13, 21-16) Spanish veterans Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira in the quarterfinals.
“We couldn’t have had a better tournament up to this point,” Carambula reflected. “We understand that competition gets tougher at each match, so we’re remaining grounded and taking it one game at a time. We’re happy with how we’re playing and how we’re hanging on to it. We’re sticking together no matter what and it’s making a difference.”
The Italians are currently in their second stint as partners, after sharing the courts for the first time between 2015 and 2017, and have earned medals in two of the three tournaments they have played since their reunion. With another win on Sunday, they’ll make another podium appearance together.
“We’re just focusing on the next game,” Ranghieri explained. “Every single match is a war and we’re certainly not saving any energy when we’re on the court. We’re leaving everything out there and continuing to go forward.”
Their next opponents in Doha, Mol and Sørum are also undefeated in the tournament, but had to work harder than the Italians on Saturday, needing all three sets (21-17, 17-21, 15-10) to take down Germans Clemens Wickler and Nils Ehlers in the quarterfinals.
Italians and Norwegians have faced each other once, back in 2017, with Ranghieri and Carambula emerging victorious.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” Sørum reacted. “They’re in really good shape and played very well last week too. They’re on fire, so we need to get some rest and play good volleyball to beat them. We lost our only match against them, so we want to get revenge here in Doha.”
The third team to remain undefeated in Doha, Poles Bryl and Losiak eliminated Dutch Olympic medallists Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen in the quarterfinals. The Poles, who took silver at the 2022 Beach Pro Tour Finals last week, won in straight sets (21-18, 21-19).
Of all the four semifinalists, Åhman and Hellvig were the only ones to play twice on Saturday. The Swedes started the day in the Round of 12, where they beat Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley in three sets (21-17, 18-21, 15-12), and kept their good form in the quarterfinals, securing a 2-0 (21-17, 21-15) victory over the Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt.
The Doha Elite16’s gold medal match is set to begin at 21:00 local time (18:00 UTC) on Sunday. The bronze medal match is scheduled to start at 19:00 local time (16:00 UTC).