Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 9, 2017 - Led by three local teams, tandems from five countries topped each of the eight pools of the $600,000 Fort Lauderdale Major after conclusion of the men’s group stage this Thursday.
These teams advanced directly to the Round of 16, while the second and third-placed teams of each group will have to play an elimination match later this Thursday to remain alive in the 2017 international beach volleyball season opener.
Playing their first tournament together, USA’s Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb dominated Pool F and secured their tickets to the Round of 16 by defeating Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira in three sets 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 15-13), finishing the group stage with a perfect record.
“Taylor came up with a few really big digs in the end. We were lucky because I played a little sloppy with my serve receive. We need to clean some things up but it feels good to get the pool win. It was a really hard pool, so to come up on top was nice,” commented the 41-year-old veteran Gibb.
Also undefeated were Brazilian Álvaro Filho and Saymon Barbosa, who started their campaign in Fort Lauderdale in the qualification tournament. After back-to-back wins on Wednesday, the No. 9 seed defeated Austria’s Thomas Kunert and Christoph Dressler 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) to clinch the first position of Pool H.
“This tournament actually started for us last week, as he had to play in Brazil to assure our spot in the qualification tournament,” said Álvaro, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. “Every match on the World Tour is very close, so when you have a chance to take a step further in a tournament you have to do it and I am glad we did it.”
Brazil's Alvaro Filho (left) celebrates with partner Saymon Barbosa as they win their fourth match in Fort Lauderdale
Also advancing directly to the Round of 16 are USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena and Casey Patterson/Theo Brunner, Poland’s Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak and Grzegorz Fijalek/Michal Bryl, Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai and Russia’s Nikita Liamin/Viacheslav Krasilnikov.
The single elimination matches that will lead to the Round of 16 were drawn as below:
Eight matches of the Round of 16 and the four quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday, while the semifinals and the bronze and gold medals will take place on Saturday.