CKU Paris ESP-NED 006

Three teams secured their spots in the men’s knockout stage of the Paris Elite16 main draw on the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour. On Thursday, Stefan Boermans & Yorick de Groot of the Netherlands and Evandro Oliveira & Arthur Mariano of Brazil upset top-seeded Americans Miles Partain & Andrew Benesh in Pool A, while second-seeded Czechs Ondrej Perusic & David Schweiner stamped their ticket from Pool B.

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In a tight two-set battle, the ninth-seeded Dutchmen persevered for a narrow 2-0 (23-21, 22-20) victory over Partain & Benesh to open Pool A for business on centre court. Boermans raised as many as eight kill blocks towards a 26-point match high. Meanwhile, eighth-seeded Evandro & Arthur also celebrated a hard-fought straight-set victory over Australian qualifiers Thomas Hodges & Zachery Schubert, 2-0 (22-20, 21-18).

In the second leg of Pool A matches, the Brazilians hammered out a convincing 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) shutout of the Americans, while the Aussies pushed Boermans & De Groot to an extended tie-breaker, before the Dutchmen could celebrate a 2-1 (21-15, 18-21, 20-18) victory. Boermans produced another eight kill blocks to finish with a total of 27 points.

Pool B started with two hard-fought three-setters. On centre court, Perusic & Schweiner celebrated a 2-1 (21-19, 24-26, 15-12) victory over Germany’s Clemens Wickler & Nils Ehlers, with Schweiner shining as the best scorer of the match on 29 points, including seven kill blocks and two aces. In the other first-leg game, seventh-seeded Poles Michal Bryl & Bartosz Losiak achieved a 2-1 (21-17, 15-21, 15-9) win over Chile’s Marco Grimalt & Esteban Grimalt.

In the second leg, the Czechs were merciless on the way to a 2-0 (21-13, 21-9) blowout of Bryl & Losiak, with Schweiner putting away another six kill blocks, while the Germans bounced back with a convincing 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) sweep of their game against the Grimalt cousins.

A tough duel unfolded between sixth-seeded Italians Paolo Nicolai & Samuele Cottafava and Austrian qualifiers Julian Horl & Alexander Horst. Nicolai & Cottafava came out on the winning end of two sets decided by the narrowest of margins to claim a 2-0 (25-23, 21-19) win. In the other match of Thursday’s only leg in this pool, Brazil’s Andre Stein & George Wanderley disappointed the home crowd at the iconic Roland-Garros with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-11) shutout of France’s Julien Lyneel & Remi Bassereau. Andre Stein impressed with seven kill blocks and an ace towards a 20-point match high.

Only one leg of matches was played in Pool D as well. In a mighty battle, Dutch qualifiers Alexander Brouwer & Robert Meeuwsen squeezed out a 2-1 (21-15, 18-21, 15-9) victory over fifth-seeded Adrian Carambula & Alex Ranghieri of Italy. While Ranghieri achieved a pretty solid scoring count of 22 points, including four blocks and two aces, Meeuwsen was above all on six kill blocks and three aces towards the match high of 23 points. In the last match on Thursday’s schedule, Brazilian qualifiers Pedro Solberg & Gustavo Carvalhaes (Guto) handed the French fans another disappointment by shutting out fourth-seeded host country representatives Youssef Krou & Arnaud Gauthier-Rat, 2-0 (21-14, 21-13).

Men’s main draw matches will resume on Friday at 11:00 local time (09:00 UTC).