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2018-07-30 18:20:00 CEST

Ricardo & Guto triumph over familiar faces

The Brazilians prevailed in the country-quota in their fourth game against Thiago/George in as many tournaments

Ricardo and Guto have played George and Thiago in four country-quotas alreadyRicardo and Guto have played George and Thiago in four country-quotas already

Ricardo Santos and Guto Carvalhaes have had quite different results in the four tournaments they’ve played since they decided to join forces and compete in the World Tour, but one thing has been consistent in all of them – their campaign inevitably starts against Thiago Barbosa and George Wanderley in a country-quota match. And it happened again in the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.

Guto and Ricardo were defeated by their compatriots in the Warsaw four-star event and in the Swatch Major Gstaad, but came out on top in Espinho, where they won a silver medal, and tied the series with a 21-15, 21-17 in the Danube Island.

“The country-quota is always tough and you tend to keep playing against the same teams for a while,” Ricardo said after their victory. “Thiago and George are growing as a team and they have just played a final in China recently. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and this was just the first step for us. We’ll need to play at the same level or better to advance in the qualifier.”

The 43-year-old Ricardo and the 24-year-old Guto are one of three teams to win a Brazilian country-quota playoff in the World Tour in 2018. Thiago/George and Alvaro Filho/Saymon Barbosa, who they defeated 21-19, 21-18 in their first match in Vienna, advanced in the other events.

“Every game is about the details,” Guto added. “In Gstaad we were very tired and didn’t play well, but now they were the ones who took a long trip before the tournament and that might have had some influence. The teams know each other very well and it’s always the little things that make a difference.” 

Since their elimination in Gstaad, Ricardo and Guto had two week to prepare to Vienna, but they did it in different ways as while the defender has trained in the Austrian capital for a while, the veteran returned to Orlando, Florida, where he lives, and just landed in Vienna on Saturday afternoon.

“We didn’t have much time to practice together recently,” Ricardo acknowledged. “We are still getting to know each other, but we are improving. Our game is still heavily based on our individual skills, but we still have to find our chemistry.”

The Brazilian will be one of 30 men’s teams to compete on Tuesday’s qualification tournament in Vienna.

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