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2018-07-25 15:20:00 CEST

A Brazilian in Vienna

Defender Guto Carvalhaes has been in the Austrian capital for two weeks as he prepares for the Vienna Major

Guto enjoys the Danube River after a training session in ViennaGuto enjoys the Danube River after a training session in Vienna

The A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch starts next week and while most of the players who will compete in the event are yet to make their trips to the Austrian capital, Brazilian rising star Guto Caravalhes might look a genuine Viennese already.

Right after Ricardo Santos and him were eliminated in the country-quota of the Swatch Major Gstaad two weeks ago, Guto headed to Vienna to start his preparation for the next five-star event of the season, unlike all of his Brazilian counterparts, who either returned home during the two-week between tournaments - including Ricardo, who flew back to Florida, where he lives - or went to Asia to compete in three-star events.

“I just thought it wouldn’t make sense to return to Brazil,” Guto said about his choice. “We typically spend a lot of time in airplanes and airports in a trip like that and I’d have to return very soon as we start playing on country-quota on Monday.

“Instead of returning to Brazil for just a few days I thought it would be better to remain in Europe as I’d get better rested to the tournament and wouldn’t have to get to a different time zone and I found a great situation here in Vienna.”

Nice day of practice with Austria and Canada teams πŸ‡§πŸ‡·πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Bei dir @tobiashiems @uvlineoficial @exercito_oficial

800 Likes, 13 Comments - Guto Carvalhaes (@gutocarvalhaes) on Instagram: "Nice day of practice with Austria and Canada teams πŸ‡§πŸ‡·πŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Bei dir @tobiashiems @uvlineoficial..."

The Brazilian’s stay in Vienna is being 'sponsored' by a potential opponent next week, Austrian player Moritz Pristauz, who opened the doors of his house to Guto, his coach Iago Hercowitz and the team’s statistician Jessica Mesquita.

“Moritz has been amazing for letting us stay at his place,” Guto says. “I’ve been training with the other Austrian teams, including some younger players, and it has been very good.”

Getting some valuable rest hours was also a priority for Guto after the 24-year-old defender and Ricardo played nine matches in just five days three weeks ago when they marched from country-quota to the gold medal match of the four-star Espinho tournament.

The Brazilian visited the Hofburg Palace in one of his off days in ViennaThe Brazilian visited the Hofburg Palace in one of his off days in Vienna

Having to start from country-quota once again in the Vienna Major, where they’ll compete with Alvaro Filho/Saymon Barbosa and Thiago Barbosa/George Wanderley for a berth in the qualification tournament, they hope that avoiding the wear and tear of making a long trip just a few days before they start playing can help them.

Ricardo will arrive in Vienna on Friday and the team will have a couple of days to practice before they start competing.

“This strategy normally works well for me,” Guto explains. “In April, when I was playing with Vitor, we went straight from China straight to California, where we would play a week later, instead of returning to Brazil and it was certainly the tournament where I felt better-rested. And in Espinho, too, Ricardo and I got there a few days before and ended up playing the final. So I hope it helps us again.”

But Guto’s stay in Vienna hasn’t been all about beach volleyball. The defender is using his down time to explore the city, which he first visited during last year’s World Championships.

Dando um rolé por aí πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡° 😎 #slovakia

499 Likes, 4 Comments - Guto Carvalhaes (@gutocarvalhaes) on Instagram: "Dando um rolé por aí πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡° 😎 #slovakia"

He even went a little further and visited Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, which is located just 80km east of Vienna on one of his days off.

“I really like Vienna,” he says. “Last year in the World Championships we got to play and explore the city a little bit and I loved it. The tournament went well for us, too, as even finishing ninth, we played well. I remember the energy was amazing and the stadium was always packed and I’m looking forward to enjoy it again next week.”

One thing is for sure – Guto will definitely feel at home.

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