Lausanne, Switzerland, December 8, 2017 – Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen won’t have long to put a disappointing year behind them when the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour begins in the first weekend of January at the 4-Star Dela Beach Open in The Hague.
The Dutch pair began 2017 in good shape and won gold at the Xiamen 3-Star Open, but thereafter they struggled to consistently find their best form.
They won bronze at the CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships, but were knocked out of the Austria 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in the first knockout round by Belgian pair, Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle.
“2017 was a poor season for Robert Meeuwsen and me,” Brouwer told the Dutch Volleyball Federation website
“We started with gold at the Xiamen Open in China, but after that we were unable to achieve our goals. In particular, the defeat against the Belgians Koekelkoren and Van Walle in the first knockout round at the World Championships in Vienna was disappointing.”
The Dela Beach Open runs from January 3-7 at the SportsCampus Zuiderpark indoor arena and it means an earlier start to the season for the players, who would normally be away from home for warm weather training.
The World Tour season will then run until the FIVB World Tour Finals, which take place from August 14-19.
“It will be new for us to have to perform at the beginning of January,” Brouwer said. “We are now training hard and we are looking forward to playing a 4-Star tournament at home in the Sportcampus Zuiderpark.
“One thing I know for sure, this year we will have to take it slower than ever on New Year's Eve.”
Brouwer and Meeuwsen’s bronze at the European Championships was the first time they had finished on the podium at a European Championships.
The 2013 world champions travelled to Jurmala in Latvia with the aim of winning gold, but lost to Italian pair Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai in the semifinals who went on to triumph in the gold medal match.
“We went to the European Championships in Jurmala to win gold, something we planned for,” Brouwer said. “We met Koekelkoren and Van Walle again, in our group and won convincingly. Of course it felt good to take revenge, but we also thought: if only we had done this at the World Championships.
“After a solid victory in the quarterfinals against Latvia’s Haralds Regza and Martins Plavins we faced Lupo and Nicolai. We lost to them in the European semifinals last year, but then beat them in the final in Xiamen.
“They won 2-1 and immediately after the semifinal we had a tough analysis session with national coach Gijs Ronnes, and in the bronze medal match all our frustration from a disappointing season came out.”