Gothenburg, Sweden, April 19, 2019 – With pool play in the men’s main draw of the one-star stop on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in Gothenburg underway on Friday, the percentage of matches resolved in tie-breaks went even higher. After eight of the 12 qualification matches on Thursday got extended beyond two sets, as many as six of the eight first-leg games on the first main draw day at the indoor Beach Center were decided in three sets of play.
The eight teams that emerged victorious in their first main draw matches secured their spots in the single elimination rounds, but will play each other on Saturday for the first places in the four pools and direct advancement to the quarterfinals. The eight losing pairs will also play each other to stay in contention.
In the longest running match of the day, Sweden’s Martin Appelgren and Alexander Annerstedt, seeded fourth, took 57 minutes to shape up a 2-1 (29-27, 17-21, 20-18) victory over Italians Jakob Windisch and Samuele Cottafava. To skip the first elimination playoff and progress straight into the quarterfinals, Appelgren and Annerstedt will have to win Pool D by defeating Japan’s Jumpei Ikeda and Katsuhiro Shiratori on Saturday morning.
Another home team, Ludvig Simonsson and Alexander Herrmann, delivered the biggest upset of the day. The 15th-seeded Swedes managed to overcome second-seeded Germans Armin Dollinger and Simon Kulzer on the way to a 2-1 (21-15, 13-21, 15-11) win in Pool B, where they will play against Latvia’s Toms Smedins and Haralds Regza for the top of the pool table.
The only other fixture, in which a lower-ranked duo upset a higher-ranked team, was played in Pool C. 11th-seeded qualifiers Robin Sowa and Lukas Pfretzschner of Germany managed a 2-1 (20-22, 21-13, 16-14) comeback victory over sixth-seeded Hitoshi Murakami and Takashi Tsuchiya of Japan. The Germans will lock horns with Turkey’s Selcuk Sekerci and Safa Urlu for the first place in the pool.
Turkey’s Sekerci and Urlu on the way to the victory over Sweden’s David Ahman and Jonatan Hellvig
The all-Russian clash between eighth-seeded Sergey Gorbenko and Vasilii Ivanov and ninth-seeded Pavel Shustrov and Alexey Gusev was the highlight of Pool A. Gorbenko and Ivanov came from behind to master a 2-1 (20-22, 21-17, 15-13) win and set up a pool final against top-seeded Belarusians Aliaksandr Dziadkou and Pavel Piatrushka.
Dziadkou and Piatrushka of Belarus
Men’s main draw action continues at 09:00 local time on Saturday. All games of the tournament in Gothenburg are streamed live on EuroVolley.tv.