The men’s quarterfinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour four-star event in Itapema are set with five European and three Brazilian teams set to contend for the four semifinal spots at the Meia Praia Beach on Saturday.
Danish Kristoffer Abell and Jacob Brinck caused the major upset of the day as they stunned Brazilian Olympians Evandro Goncalves and Alvaro Filho in straight sets (21-19, 21-15) to silence the centre court crowd in the final match of the schedule. The Europeans were playing in their third match of the day after defeating Spain's Javier Huerta/Oscar Jimenez 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) on pool play and French Quincy Aye and Youssef Krou also in two sets (21-15, 21-18) in the Round of 24.
Their victory guaranteed a European team in the semifinals as their quarterfinal opponents will be Austrians Alexander Huber, a Rio 2016 Olympian, and Christoph Dressler, who comfortably took Belarusians Aliaksandr Dziadkou and Pavel Piatrushka down in two sets (21-13, 21-17).
Estonians Kusti Nolvak and Mart Tiisaar are also among the European teams that moved forward in the tournament on Friday. After they won their pool on Thursday, the 30-year-old Nolvak and Tisaaar only had to play in the Round of 16, where they came from behind to defeat Germans Lukas Pfretzschner and Robin Sowa in three sets (22-24, 21-19, 15-9) and continue progressing in the tournament.
“It feels really good,” Nolvak reflected. “We had a lot of ups and downs in our game but we did a great job in surviving the difficult moments. The Germans can play really well, but they made a few mistakes and we got a few points in important moments of the match. We had some fans supporting us and it was really fun.”
Their next opponents will be Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley, who dominated the new American duo of Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander to secure a straight-set (21-12, 21-16) Round of 16 victory.
Rio 2016 Olympic champion Alison Cerutti has also advanced alongside Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhes as the team dominated American veterans Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk to a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) triumph. They will face another new team on the World Tour, the one of Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist Daniele Lupo and his Italian partner Alex Ranghieri, who knocked Brazilians Saymon Barbosa and Oscar Guimaraes out of the tournament with a 21-17, 21-17 win.
The fourth quarterfinal will reunite three up-and-coming players with Swedish David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig facing Brazilian Renato Andrew. The 2018 Youth Olympics champions, the 19-year-old Ahman and the 20-year-old Hellvig came out on top of their duel with Americans Chase Budinger and Troy Field, winning in two close sets. A three-time FIVB Age Group world champion, the 21-year-old Renato and his partner Vitor Felipe had to sweat even more to advance as the Brazilian Tour leaders needed all three sets (21-15, 19-21, 15-10) to take care of compatriots Pedro Solberg and Arthur Lanci.
Saturday’s schedule in Itapema will feature both the quarterfinal and the semifinal rounds. The medal matches will close the event on Sunday.
All matches are streamed live on Beach Volleyball World’s YouTube channel.
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Itapema
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