After putting up a three-set battle in Pool B of the Paris Elite16 on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour, Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner and Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers will lock horns again for the men’s gold on Sunday at 16:00 local time (14:00 UTC). Two and a half hours earlier, last year’s silver medallists Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands will play for this year’s bronze against Austria’s Julian Horl & Alexander Horst in an encounter between two teams that made it here all the way from Wednesday’s qualifiers.
Men’s final to offer remake of pool-stage duel between Czechs and Germans
Qualifiers from Netherlands and Austria will secure an all-European podium
Published 09:15, 30 Sept 2023
Second-seeded Perusic & Schweiner continued their victorious run through the main draw at the Roland-Garros Stadium in the French capital on Saturday, extending their winning streak to five games. In the quarterfinals, the Czechs claimed a 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) success against Italy’s Samuele Cottafava & Paolo Nicolai, after a hard-fought first set and more one-sided second set. Schweiner put up five kill blocks to finish with a match-high 20 points. Before that, the Italians had knocked out top-seeded Americans Miles Partain & Andrew Benesh by 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) in the eighthfinals.
In the first men’s semifinal in the evening, Perusic & Schweiner prevailed over Brouwer & Meeuwsen in convincing straight sets, 2-0 (21-16, 21-15), to make it to their fourth Beach Pro Tour final. Schweiner had another solid blocking performance with five stuffs to lead the match scorers with a total of 17 points. The Dutch standouts, who started their journey in Paris from Wednesday’s qualifiers, reached the final four after two hard-fought three-set comebacks in Saturday’s knockouts: a 2-1 (20-22, 21-16, 17-15) eighthfinal win over Poland’s Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak, and a 2-1 (17-21, 21-18, 18-16) quarterfinal win over third-seeded Andre Stein & George Wanderley of Brazil.
10th-seeded Ehlers & Wickler had to go through two three-setters on Saturday before reaching the evening’s semifinals. At midday, the Germans mounted a 2-1 (19-21, 21-16, 15-9) comeback against fourth-seeded home favourites Youssef Krou & Arnaud Gauthier-Rat in an eighthfinal encounter. They wasted a five-point lead to let the first set slip through their fingers, but took a tight grip of the next two on the way to the victory. Ehlers raised as many as eight kill blocks towards a 26-point match high.
In the afternoon quarterfinals, Ehlers & Wickler managed a 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, 15-10) win over Netherlands’ Stefan Boermans & Yorick de Groot. After dominating the first set, the Germans had the lead during the first half of the second, but the Dutchmen came back to push the game to a tie-breaker. Ehlers & Wickler regained control and paced on to the victory. Ehlers was once again the best scorer of the match, with 24 points, including six blocks.
In the last match of the day, Ehlers & Wickler met Austrian qualifiers Horl & Horst, who had persevered through two encounters with strong Brazilian opponents earlier on Saturday, knocking out Evandro Oliveira & Arthur Mariano by 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-13) and Pedro Solberg & Gustavo Carvalhaes (Guto) by 2-0 (21-16, 22-20). The Germans had the upper hand throughout the first set, but in the second, they had to come back from a five-point deficit and push forward to a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) shutout and their first-ever Beach Pro Tour final. Ehlers’s match high this time consisted of 20 points, again including six kill blocks.