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2018-08-04 11:03:00 CET

Five in a row for Qatar qualifiers

Cherif and Tijan beat an Austrian team… again

Cherif and Ahmed celebrate and silence the packed Red Bull Beach ArenaCherif and Ahmed celebrate and silence the packed Red Bull Beach Arena

They’re the Qataris who have beaten two Austrians teams and have won all five of their matches on the Danube Island – and now Cherif Younousse Samba and Ahmed Tijan Janko have a chance to reach a Major Series semifinal.

After Friday’s win on the Red Bull Beach Arena over Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst, Cherif and Ahmed silenced the big crowd once more by ousting Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz on the main court to reach the quarterfinals.

The Qataris, both 23, originally played together as youths before finding different partners, but were reunited this season.

And while Qatar might not be the first nation on the lips of beach volleyball fans, this duo are changing that mindset with some excellent beach volleyball.

“The map is getting smaller,” Cherif told us after their straight sets win over the young Austrians. “Of course the players know that they realize if they play Qatar they are not going to win 2-0 easy. When you play Qatar it is hard. We’re not famous, it’s not something we’re worried about. However, hopefully this tournament can put us in the minds of people at bit more.”

The Qatari federation made the decision to reunite the pair at the start of this season and following a string of solid results on the World Tour, it’s looking like a better idea with every passing match.

“Our relationship on and off the court is important,” says Ahmed. “We’re close, we had the experience of playing together when we were younger and that is really helping us now. We support each other, we have the spirit and bond and that team cooperation is crucial. That’s a thing that teams will find difficult to break down because we work for each other.

“At the moment, it’s working in a really positive way, it’s perfect.”

Their win, combined with Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb’s win over Russians Semenov/Leshuko guarantees a qualifier in the semifinal. The Americans finished fourth in Gstaad and are now a win away from another semifinal following their comeback victory.

Watch that game live on BeachStream at 1.30pm.  

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