Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen will play against Brazil’s Andre Stein and George Wanderley in one of Sunday’s men’s semifinals at the J&T Banka Ostrava Beach Open 2021. Czechia’s Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner will defend the host country’s honour in the other semifinal against Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy.
19th-seeded Andre and George produced another two clean slates on Saturday. In their eighthfinal match in the morning, the Brazilians put an end to Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne’s Olympic aspirations shutting out the Americans by 2-0 (21-19, 21-18). Their afternoon match, however, was a hard-fought nail-biting quarterfinal against Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov. The first set got extended to a 23-21 close. The second went even deeper. Andre and George managed to recover from a solid deficit against the sixth-seeded Russians to push the set into overtime and eventually win it by 30-28 on two monster blocks by Andre for the last two points.
“Yes, I made two good blocks in the end, but it was because of George’s serving,” Andre told Volleyball World. “We did not play very well in side-out in the middle of the second set, but we kept believing and did not give up. At the end, George took a risk in serving and it made the difference.”
“It’s amazing!” George added. “We were not playing our best at the start of this tournament and in the previous one in Sochi, but we stuck together as a team, Andre and I, and all the coaches. I really have to thank them, because it’s been amazing. We had hit bottom and now we are in the semifinals. Andre was amazing today!”
Brouwer and Meeuwsen were the lowest ranked team to make the semis. The 22nd-seeded Dutchmen knocked two fellow Dutch pairs out of the way on Saturday to clear their way to the last four. First, they mastered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) victory over Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot in the eighthfinals. Then they delivered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) shutout of Christiaan Varenhorst and Steven van de Velde to cut off their hopes of making it to Tokyo through the rankings.
Reigning world champions Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy started their day with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) eighthfinal win over Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira. In the quarterfinals, the fourth-seeded Russians mounted a comeback from a set down against last week’s Sochi gold medallists Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland to celebrate with a 2-1 (18-21, 22-20, 15-13).
Top seeds Perusic and Schweiner made their big comeback in the eighthfinals. They recovered from losing the first set to Austria’s Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller and went on to claim a 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-10) victory. Inspired by the home crowd, the Czech pair dominated their quarterfinal match against Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo on the way to a 2-0 (21-15, 21-17) win.
All men’s teams below the cut-off line in the provisional Olympic ranking who had a shot at jumping above it in Ostrava failed to add enough points to their tallies and missed the opportunity to qualify for Tokyo through the ranking.
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour - Ostrava
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020