03.08.2019 - Vienna, Austria
Polish Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek and Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sørum are set to clash in the final day of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch for the second-straight year but this time the Europeans won’t play for the gold as their match-up will be one of the semi-finals of the tournament at the Danube Island.
Bryl and Fijalek, who took silver last year at the Austrian capital, avenged a pool play setback to Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira by ousting the veterans 21-17, 21-15 in their quarterfinals match-up.
“We changed our strategy,” Bryl explained. “On Thursday we served Pablo and he absolutely destroyed us. Now we went for Adrian and we decided that I would block his angle shots and Fifi would defend the line and our tactics worked really well.”
Their semifinal appearance in Vienna will their first since May, when they were third in a World Tour four-star event in Ostrava and their first in a Beach Major Series event this season. For a team that featured in four final fours in five tournaments at the end of 2018, it’s nice to be back in medal contention.
“Vienna has been a lucky place for us,” the blocker added. “We made the final right last year and I hope we can do it again this time. We haven’t been playing really well for the last two months and after getting a bunch of ninths we were questioning ourselves if we still could play at last year’s level, but this match showed we can.”
Mol and Sørum, the reigning Vienna Major champions, advanced to the semi-finals with a 21-14, 21-13 victory over Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson. Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena and Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Álvaro Filho will play for the other gold medal match spot on Sunday.