Gstaad, Switzerland, July 5, 2017 - Jefferson Santos Pereira and Cherif Younousse posted the biggest upset during the first round of men's pool play action here Wednesday at the $600,000 Gstaad Major with a three-set win over Olympic silver medal winners Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy.
Seeded 29th in the Gstaad Major Main Draw after winning two qualifying matches Tuesday, Jefferson and Cherif posted a 2-1 (13-21, 21-13, 23-21) Pool D win in 47 minutes over the fourth-seeded Lupo and Nicolai. It was the Qatar duos’ first win in three FIVB World Tour meetings with the Italians. Jefferson and Cherif conclude pool play Thursday and Friday with matches against American and Chilean duos, respectively.
Entering this week's FIVB World Tour event in the Swiss Alps, Jefferson and Cherif won only two of six matches in their previous tournaments this season after placing 33rd, 25th, 17th and 33rd at international events in China, Russia, The Netherlands and Croatia. Prior to the 2017 campaign, the Qatar tandem had placed fifth in the 2015 FIVB World Championships in The Netherlands and ninth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In addition to pool play matches Thursday and Friday, the men will play three round of elimination contests in the 24-team bracket Saturday. The semifinals and medal matches will be contested Sunday where the winning team will split the $40,000 first-place prize.