Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 27, 2015 - Reigning world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen delighted the Rotterdam home crowd Saturday evening with a rally-filled 2-0 victory (21-16, 21-16) over Austria’s Robin Seidl and Alexander Huber.
The atmosphere in the stadium on the Katendrecht peninsula gave them goose bumps, Brouwer said after the match. The 2,000-seat stadium was filled with roaring fans, with an additional couple of hundred people watching from the ss Rotterdam, the iconic cruise ship moored right next to the stadium.
“I had goose bumps all over”, Brouwer said. “The stadium was completely full and the fans were roaring. The crowd was amazing.”
Both teams played excellent defence, which resulted in some spectacular rallies. So far the Dutch had been trailing the series against Austria 4-2, but in Rotterdam they never gave away the lead.
Brouwer: “We are very happy to have this first win behind us. As we say in Holland: ‘De kop is eraf’ (the pressure is off) and now we move on.”
Over the years they have learned to cope with pressure, Meeuwsen said. “Of course there is pressure as we are the reigning champions, but we just take it match by match, point by point. We are going to enjoy this victory first, but after that we just focus on the next game. This is how we approach this tournament.”
Strong performance by South America
The South American teams performed well on the opening day in Rotterdam. Mexico and both the Venezuelan teams defeated higher ranked pairs.
Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen, ranked 36th, upset Alexander Walkenhorst and Stefan Windscheif (13th) 2-0 (21-19, 21-17). Ontiveros: “It was a very tough match, the first set especially. But it’s a great start for us and we hope to improve our game during the event.”
Olaya Perez Pazo and Norisbeth Isais Agudo Gonzalez surprised everyone with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) win over Mangaung Open champions Barbora Hermannova and Martina Bonnerova from the Czech Republic.
“We are happy we came out with a victory”, Olaya said. “It’s our first year on the tour and we’re getting better and better. We are really proud and happy to be here and we are going to try to enjoy this as much as we can.”
In the evening Jesus Villafane and Jackson Henriquez added another win for Team Venezuela. They defeated Canada’s Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter 2-0 (21-17, 21-16).Top teams deliver
European champions Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo from Italy, seeded 5th, started their World Championship campaign with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-11) win over Chili’s Matias Tobar and Rodrigo Salinas.
Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Evandro Goncalves, who won silver in Moscow and gold in Stavanger this year, booked a 2-0 (21-11, 21-9) win over Tunesia, while 4th seeded Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek from Poland defeated Egypt 2-0 (21-2, 21-9).