04.08.2019 - Vienna, Austria
The last time Alison Cerutti played in a Beach Major Series gold medal match was almos three years ago, in September 2016, when Bruno Schmidt and him won the World Tour Finals in Toronto.
Beach volleyball fans, however, will have a chance to see the Mammoth playing in a Major final for the first time since then as the Rio 2016 Olympic champion and partner Álvaro Filho have advanced to the final match of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.
The Brazilians, who lost just one set in their first six matches at the Danube Island, dominated Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena to a 21-18, 21-16 victory in front of a packed Red Bull Beach Arena.
“The atmosphere was amazing, I felt as if I was playing in an Olympic final out there,” Alison said shortly after the match. “These last three years have been of real transformation for me. Ending an Olympic champion partnership, starting over with two different partners and learning from both of them, it all took me to this final now. Álvaro and I started from the bottom, we were the sixth Brazilian team, and to see how we progressed, it makes me very happy.”
The Brazilians dominated the Americans with Alison’s massive net presence, scoring nine blocking points, and the unorthodox strategy of serving Dalhausser, virtually a scoring machine, and limiting him to only 11 points.
“We always go to matches with a few different game plan options,” Álvaro said. “We knew what our options were and kind of made the decisions based on what we saw on the court. Alison was getting a good feeling for Phil and we were siding out at a very high rate, which helped too.”
The Brazilians will take on Anders Mol and Christian Sorum after the world number ones and last year’s Vienna champions took down Poles Gregorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl in straight sets.
The Vikings, have won all six matches and dropped just one set so far on the Danube Island and now have eyes on winning a seventh gold medal of the season and a third in a row.
The final will take place at 6pm CEST, while the bronze medal match begins at 4.45pm CEST.