Dubai, UAE - 1st - challenge - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News


Quincy Aye in defence during the match against Crabb & Lotman

Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Arthur Mariano produced two upsets of higher seeded opponents in their Pool A of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Dubai on Sunday to top their pool standings and secure a spot among the last 16 of the tournament. As many as three teams that advanced to the men’s main draw from Saturday’s qualifiers also surprised the opponents to finish first in their pools.

· Watch all matches at the Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Dubai live on Volleyball TV.

13th-seeded Pedro Solberg and Arthur opened their main draw campaign with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-14) shutout of 12th-seeded Hasan Huseyin Mermer and Safa Urlu of Türkiye. In the Pool A final, the Brazilians persevered through a three-set game against top-seeded Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat of France on the way to a 2-1 (21-19, 17-21, 15-12) victory. Mermer and Urlu won the third place match in the pool to also advance to the playoffs. The Turks managed a 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) sweep of Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Mihails Samoilovs.

“We had some really good results in the last two events on the Brazilian national tour and we felt ready again to be back here. So I am excited and really happy with our two wins today,” Pedro Solberg told Volleyball World. “Arthur is special. He is an amazing guy! We are real friends and I love this guy. He is such a great server and has a lot of potential in defence. He has an amazing side-out, he is improving his setting and he has passion for the game, which is the most important, so I love it!”

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Qualifiers Andrew Benesh and Miles Partain, seeded 15th, advanced as Pool C winners. The Americans opened their campaign with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) upset of 10th-seeded Mexicans Juan Virgen and Miguel Sarabia, and then mastered a 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) shutout of Spain’s Javier Huerta and Alejandro Huerta. Pool favourites Sergiy Popov and Eduard Reznik of Ukraine, seeded third, who suffered a three-set upset at the hands of the Spaniards in the pool semifinals, bounced back to beat Virgen and Sarabia by 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) to stay in contention.

French pair Calvin Aye and Quincy Aye, also emerging from the qualifications, had a really tough Sunday, but celebrated in the end as Pool D winners after persevering through two tie-breakers. The 16th-seeded team came back from a catastrophic loss in the first set of their match against Argentina’s Nicolas Capogrosso and Tomas Capogrosso to win by 2-1 (10-21, 21-19, 15-11). In the first place game, the French duo edged USA’s Taylor Crabb and Paul Lotman by a narrow 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 16-14). Fourth-seeded Americans Chase Budinger and Troy Field failed to make it to the next round, after suffering upsets from their compatriots in the semis and then from the Argentineans in the third place match. Capogrosso and Capogrosso mastered a convincing 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) victory over the silver medallists of last week’s Maldives Challenge.

Another American duo, however, became the lowest seeded team to win a men’s pool at Kite Beach on Sunday. Logan Webber and Evan Cory, joining the main draw bracket from Saturday’s qualifiers and competing as number 17, swept eighth-seeded Australians Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis by 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) and then fifth-seeded Italians Marco Viscovich and Alex Ranghieri by 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) to top Pool E. Carracher and Nicolaidis also progressed as the third-placed team in the pool.

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In Pool B, second-seeded Italians Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi won two straight-setters to emerge on top of the standings. First, they cruised to an emphatic 2-0 (21-7, 21-9) blowout of Oman’s Hood Al Jalaboubi and Mazin Alhashmi. Then, they had a hard-fought encounter with Switzerland’s Quentin Metral and Yves Haussener for the first place in the pool and they won it by 2-0 (24-22, 21-16). The third place went to Portugal’s Joao Pedrosa and Hugo Campos, who knocked out the Omani qualifiers by 2-0 (21-17, 30-28).

“In these conditions – deep sand, a little bit of wind and super hot – you want to win your games and go back to your hotel room, so you get some rest,” said Carambula. “We are happy with the results and now we’ll see what happens going forward. It’s a world tour! The Beach Pro Tour is a beast and no matter what your rank is, if you don’t play good ball, people here are going to beat you. Everybody plays good ball, so we are just going to take it one game at a time and hopefully put up some good performances and go as deep as possible.”


Carambula and his specialty, the skyball serve

The Czech pairing of 20-year-old Jakub Sepka and 19-year-old Tomas Semerad, seeded seventh in the men’s main draw, topped the final standings in Pool F after a 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-12) win over Italy’s Jakob Windisch and Gianluca Dal Corso in their first match, and a 2-0 (24-22, 21-18) victory over Australia’s Zachery Schubert and Thomas Hodges in the pool final. The Italians finished third on a 2-0 (21-8, 21-6) sweep of UAE’s Salem Mohammed and Ahmed Al Houli.

Monday’s competition day in the men’s main draw bracket will start at 11:00 local time (07:00 UTC) with the two Round-of-18 matches. The day’s programme also includes the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals.