Second-seeded Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner of Czechia stayed on the winning track in all their six matches at the Paris Elite16 tournament to claim their second gold on the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour, after triumphing in Uberlandia earlier this year. Their Beach Pro Tour collection also features three silver medals, all from the Tour’s inaugural season in 2022.
Perusic & Schweiner celebrate second Elite16 gold
An all-European podium in Paris also features Ehlers & Wickler and Brouwer & Meeuwsen
Published 04:08, 01 Oct 2023
Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers, seeded 10th in the men’s main draw, went down after three sets in Sunday’s final at Roland-Garros Stadium, to take their first Beach Pro Tour silver and add it to the three bronze medals they had in their collection so far.
The bronze went to last year’s Paris silver medallists Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen. The Dutch Olympians started the tournament from Wednesday’s qualifiers and went on to reach the podium as the 13th seed in the main draw bracket. It was their first Beach Pro Tour medal of the season. Last season, they picked up three silvers and a bronze, but are yet to win their first gold on the Tour.
In the final game, Perusic & Schweiner mounted an impressive comeback from a set down to grab a 2-1 (16-21, 21-16, 15-11) victory. Ehlers & Wickler started the match well, stayed in control throughout the first set and took the lead. The Germans stormed the second set on a 3-0 run and were well on their way to the victory when they had a 15-13 advantage. At that point, the Czechs started mounting their comeback and leveled the match after a narrow 21-19 turnaround in the set. The tie-breaker offered more excitement to the fans on the stands at Roland-Garros. The lead went back and forth a few times before Perusic & Schweiner edged ahead for good after 6-6. An off-the-net serve by Perusic resulted in an overpass, which Schweiner hammered to bring in match point, after which a Wickler error in offence ended the game at 15-11 Czechia’s way.
While Ehlers was really brilliant in attack (20 kills) and blocking (six stuffs) to produce a match-high 27 points, Schweiner impressed with eight kill blocks and an ace for the winners to finish with 19 points. Perusic added another 16, including two aces, while Wickler finished with 17, all in attack.
“We are extremely happy! Merci beaucoup!” Schweiner exclaimed on the court, addressing the fans right after the final.
“It was an amazing tournament! Really!” Perusic added. “Since day one we felt the support from the French people. I cannot really express how grateful I am and I am really glad we were able to deliver the victory. Thank you!”
The third-place match earlier in the afternoon also offered a three-set battle and a comeback from a set down. Austrian qualifiers Julian Horl & Alexander Horst, seeded 14th in the main draw, took the first set against Brouwer & Meeuwsen, but then the experienced Dutchmen fought their way back to earn a narrow 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-13) victory. The lead changed hands numerous times during the first two sets of the match and the two teams deserved to win a set each and push the duel to a third-set decider. The Austrians entered the tie-breaker on a 4-1 run and stayed in front until 9-8, when Brouwer & Meeuwsen scored four in row to take the lead and never gave it away again.
Horl piled up an impressive tally of 35 points, including four aces and six kill blocks, while Meeuwsen led the winners with 30 points, including seven kill blocks and two aces.