Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 30, 2015 – With only 18 World Tour events on their track record and one bronze medal at the 2014 Puerto Vallarta Open Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros were not the favourites to win pool L in Rotterdam.
But in the first days of the World Championships the 36th seeded Mexicans surprised everyone with straight wins over Stavanger champions Pedro Solberg and Evandro Goncalves (12th) and 13th seeded Alexander Walkenhorst and Stefan Windscheif of Germany.
On Tuesday they added another 2-0 (21-13, 21-16) win over Tunesia’s Naceur and Belhaj to top the pool without losing a set.
Two years ago the South Americans finished 17th at the World Championships in Poland, but now they hope for more. “We are more mature now and it’s going well this time”, said Ontiveros. “We are trying to do our best.”
Their next hurdle will be home team Michiel van Dorsten and Steven van de Velde in the first elimination round on Wednesday.
Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel lost their final pool match to Canada’s Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter (27-25, 21-18) on Tuesday. But two wins were still enough for the Polish to top pool D.
“It was the worst game I ever played”, said Prudel. “I made a lot of mistakes, but one thing is for sure, I will not play this bad in the rest of the tournament.”
The Polish drew Pedro Solberg and Evandro Goncalves for the first elimination round. The Brazilians ended up third in pool L, but get to stay in Rotterdam.
Rotterdam venue’s main feature, reigning world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, topped their pool on Monday and will face Brazil’s Alvaro and Vitor Felipe on Wednesday.
In the fourth Rotterdam match Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira take on Cuba’s Gonzalez and Nivaldo.
Poland and Italy top the women’s pools
Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska prolonged their stay in Rotterdam by booking their third straight pool win. The Polish defeated the higher ranked Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova 21-18, 21-17 to top pool E.
In the first elimination round they will play USA’s Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat, who finished third in their pool in Amsterdam.
Runners up in pool E Kolocova and Slukova get to stay in Rotterdam too. The Czech are paired with Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Vicky Orsi Toth, who topped another Rotterdam based pool: L.
In another direct match for first place Menegatti and Orsi Toth came back from behind against China’s Wang Fan and Yuan Yue: 16-21, 21-14, 15-12.
In pool D Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler had already claimed top position on Monday with three wins. The Germans play Dutch pair Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist.
The other women’s match scheduled for Wednesday’s first elimination round in Rotterdam is Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst versus Evgenia Ukolova/Ekaterina Birlova from Russia.