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2018-08-03 18:49:00 CET

Knockout joy for Austrians

Doppler/Horst and Emacora/Pristauz through to the last 16!

The Red Bull Beach Arena was completely packed to witness two Austrian victoriesThe Red Bull Beach Arena was completely packed to witness two Austrian victories

The Red Bull Beach Arena was absolutely jumping. ‘Vienna put your hands together’ was the request of the DJs. The 8,000 fans inside the arena responded in kind. The crowd, together with some jaw-dropping world-class beach volleyball, helped two of Austrians most-loved teams into the last 16.

Having lost their second pool play matches the pressure was on Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst and Martin Emacora and Moritz Pristauz to ensure an Austrian team’s place on the Danube Island on Saturday.

In the end, there was nothing to worry about as the two teams overcame the odds to deliver stunning victories and book their places in the next round of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.

Martin and Moritz did the business against highly-rated an in-form German duo Clemens Wickler and Julius Thole, winning in straight sets 21-19, 21-17 to the delight of the legion of fans.

“It was a tough game, we knew they have been playing well of late but we did the job and the fans really helped us get through it,” said Martin. “We took the confidence from beating the Italians and put the Germans under pressure. With this crowd behind us, we feel calm and confident.”

The noise levels rose even higher an hour later when Clemens and Alex stormed to a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) over Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai. The Austrians, playing their second match of the day following their earlier defeat to the Qatar, found the energy levels to see off their Italians opponents and did so comfortably.

With the crowd behind them, what price a repeat of the last year’s World Championship run to the final?

“This crowd, I’m speechless, this is what it is all about,” said Clemens afterwards. “It gives you goosebumps and it is carrying us forward. We were disappointed to lose earlier in the day but that result shows there is quality around the world when it comes this sport.”

Clemens and Alex will now face Latvians Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs in the last 16, while Martin and Moritz face Tijan and Cherif – the Qataris that took down Doppler/Horst in pool play.

Moritz (left) and Martin are in the last 16Moritz (left) and Martin are in the last 16

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