2018-08-03 17:25:00 CEST
Alison/Andre and Bruno/Pedro set to meet on Saturday
Reigning Olympic champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt are set to play each other for the first time in the Beach Major Series since they split, in May, as the Brazilians advanced with their new partners, Andre Loyola and Pedro Solberg, in to the Round of 16 of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.
The recently-formed tandems will play for a spot in the quarterfinals at the Danube Island on Saturday. It will be the second time overall they play each other as Alison and Andre prevailed in the first meeting, a three-set pool play battle in Warsaw in June.
“Playing against other Brazilian teams is always a battle,” Bruno said. “Alison and Andre have been playing really well, they have a lot of power and we respect that a lot. We’ll just keep focusing on our game and hopefully we can keep improving.”
Alison and Andre advanced with back-to-back victories, which took them to the top of Pool F. On Friday, they came from behind to defeat Canadians Ben Saxton and Grant O’ Gorman in three sets (19-21, 21-16, 15-9).
“The Canadians are a great team that had some important results lately,” Alison said. “We didn’t start well, but we regained our focus and made fewer mistakes as the match progressed. We expect to have these up and downs since we’re still trying to figure out how to play together, but winning both matches is good and takes some of the pressure off of us.”
Pedro and Bruno, who had played two matches on Thursday, with a victory and a setback, bounced back with a convincing 21-16, 21-16 win over Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira in the Round of 24.
“The Spanish are one the teams playing the best volleyball right now and it was a big win for us,” Bruno added. “We had a weird start in the tournament as we just got stuck in our problems and didn’t play the way we should. I’m not playing at my best level for a number of reasons and Pedro has been a fantastic partner. He made me play much better today and we’re trying to overcome the obstacles we have right now.”
The men's Round of 16 starts at 9.30am (CEST) on Saturday.