Elite16 - Hamburg, GER - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Ehlers/Wickler (GER) vs. Cottafava/Nicolai (ITA) - Pool D #6506254

A pumped Nicolai screams to celebrate a point against Ehlers and Wickler

Italians Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava remain unstoppable at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event held in Hamburg, Germany, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament on Friday.

After winning two qualifier matches on Wednesday and triumphing in their main draw debut on Thursday, the Italians secured a pair of pool play wins on the third day of the event at the Am Rothenbaum Stadium and are now guaranteed a top-five finish.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Hamburg Elite16 matches live on VBTV

The 35-year-old Nicolai, a Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist, and the 24-year-old Cottafava are in their second season as partners and are guaranteed at least a fifth-place finish in Hamburg, matching their best result in an Elite16 event this season, obtained back in March in Tepic, Mexico.

Their campaign at the Am Rothenbaum Stadium has been nearly flawless so far as the Italians have dropped just one set in the five matches they played in Hamburg this week.

Pedro Solberg/Guto (BRA) vs. Cottafava/Nicolai (ITA) - Pool D #6500057

Cottafava digs during the match against the Brazilians

On Friday, Nicolai and Cottafava were tremendously effective, getting sweeps against Brazilians Pedro Solberg and Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhaes (21-19, 21-14) and Germans Nils Ehlers and Clemens Wickler (27-25, 21-19) to end the opening round of the main draw in first place in Pool D.

Ehlers and Wickler, who lost to Swedish David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig in straight sets (21-16, 21-13) earlier on Friday, advanced to the Round of 12 in third place, behind the reigning European champions, who also handled Pedro and Guto in two sets (21-13, 21-16) during the day.

Beach Pro Tour Hamburg Elite16 – Match Schedule and Results

Reigning Olympic and world champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway finished at the top in Pool A. The Beach Volley Vikings won all their three matches in Hamburg so far, advancing directly to the quarterfinals. On Friday, they got a forfeit victory over Dutch Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot and topped Lithuanians Patrikas Stankevicius and Audrius Knasas in straight sets (21-10, 21-13).

Mol, A./Sørum, C. (NOR) vs. Stankevicius/Knasas (LTU) - Pool A #6505079

Knasas tries to avoid Mol's blocking in Hamburg

Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley, who also secured a forfeit victory over the Dutch and swept (21-15, 22-20) the Lithuanians, advanced in second place, with Stankevicius and Knasas taking the third spot in the elimination rounds.

Pool B had Americans Miles Partain and Andy Benesh as the undefeated winners. The Gstaad Elite16 champions got a pair of wins on Friday too, taking Italians Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri down in straight sets (21-14, 21-16) and beating Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira in the tie-breaker (26-24, 16-21, 15-13).

Dutch Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen also had a strong day, sweeping both Herrera/Gavira (21-18, 21-15) and Carambula/Ranghieri (21-15, 21-12) and finishing second, with the Spanish also moved forward in third place.

In Pool C, Qatari Olympic medalists Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan finished at the top after they defeated Czechs Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 15-9) and Germans Paul Henning and Sven Winter in straight sets (21-7, 25-23).

Czechs and Germans also advanced with victories over Polish Piotr Kantor and Jakub Zdybek. Perusic and Schweiner topped the Poles in two sets (21-17, 21-18) while Henning and Winter also got a sweep (21-19, 21-19).

Saturday’s schedule begins with the Round of 12, which will start at 12:30 local time (10:30 UTC) and will have the following duels – Henning/Winter vs. Brouwer/Meeuwsen, Herrera/Gavira vs. Perusic/Schweiner, Andre/George vs. Ehlers/Wickler and Åhman/Hellvig vs. Stankevicius/Knasas. Nicolai/Cottafava, Mol/Sørum, Benesh/Partain and Cherif/Ahmed are guaranteed in the quarterfinals and won’t play until 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC).

The semifinals and medal matches will be played on Sunday at the Am Rothenbaum Stadium.

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