Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 28, 2015 – Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos needed to use all their years of experience to maintain their unbeaten run at the Netherlands 2015, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships on Sunday.
On one side of the net were the Brazilian pair, world champions in 2003 and Olympic champions in 2004. On the other were Russian youngsters Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin, a pair whose combined ages of 19 and 18 are less than either Emanuel, 42 or Ricardo, 40.
The obvious gulf didn’t materialise though and Stoyanovskiy and Yarzutkin won the first set and saved two match points as the match reached its climax. They were unable to convert two match points of their own however and the Brazilians won with their third.
“It was a really good match and the Russians played very well,” Emanuel said. “They played excellently from the start of the match and we made a few mistakes and they have a great service. But that is what the World Championships is all about, anyone can beat anyone and you have be ready for that.”
Their win now sets up a pool decider against Spanish pair Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, who have also won both their matches. Herrera and Gavira are enjoying a run of form after they won their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold together at the Moscow Grand Slam in 2015.
“We said just wait for the right moment,” Emanuel said. “Ricardo and I can usually control the match, but we couldn’t today and with the Russians playing really well, they almost got us, but in the end Ricardo and I pulled out some good plays.”
Fellow Brazilians Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes also made it two wins from two. They defeated Thai pair Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee 2-0 (21-10, 21-18), but had to keep their focus despite the rain coming in and the temperature dropping.
“In beach volleyball you have to get used to the different conditions, sometimes it is cold, sometimes it is hot, but that is our sport,” Talita said.
Juliana Felisberta and Maria Antonelli ensured that all three Brazilian teams in Amsterdam go into their final pool matches with a 100 percent record. They beat the ever-improving Vanuatuan duo Miller Pata and Linline Matautu 2-0 (21-16, 21-13).
“I played against them in 2013 in China and it was a tough match,” Maria Antonelli said. “I came into this match very focused on winning 2-0 in this match because they are very good.
“The next game against the Germans will be tough, but we have to study them and rest now.”
Australians Christopher McHugh and Isaac Kapa earned the trans-Tasman Sea bragging rights when they defeated New Zealand’s Sam O’Dea and Michael Watson 2-0 (21-19, 21-17).
Brooke Sweat and Lauren Fendrick enjoyed the better of a hard-fought three-set fixture against 2013 silver medallists Britta Buthe and Karla Borger in which both sides let three match points slip. With their fourth though the US duo defeated the Germans 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 20-18).