Vienna, Austria, August 3, 2018 - With the split of 2016 Olympic and 2015 world champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt in late May, the two Brazilian players will meet here on Saturday for the second time this season on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour during the men’s second elimination round at the $600,000 A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.
While the 11th-seeded Alison and Andre Loyola won their Pool F match Friday morning against Canada to secure a first-round bye for bracket play, Bruno and his 12th-seeded partner Pedro Solberg had to play in the opening elimination round after they split a pair of Pool E contests on Thursday.
With the Brazilian “Double-As” watching, Bruno and Pedro posted a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) elimination win in 38 minutes over fourth-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain to secure a spot in Saturday’s schedule at the third Beach Major Series event on the 2017-2018 FIVB World Tour calendar.
"The Spanish are one the teams playing the best volleyball right now and it was a big win for us," said Bruno after the match with Gavira and Herrera. "We had a weird start in the tournament as we just got stuck in our problems and didn’t play the way we should. I’m not playing at my best level for a number of reasons and Pedro has been a fantastic partner. He made me play much better today and we’re trying to overcome the obstacles we have right now.”
In the only other meeting between the two Brazilian teams, Alison and Andre posted a 2-1 (21-17, 17-21, 17-15) win in a 52-minute pool play match on June 28 at the Warsaw Open over Bruno and Pedro.
“Playing against other Brazilian teams is always a battle," Bruno added. "Alison and Andre have been playing really well, they have a lot of power and we respect that a lot. We’ll just keep focusing on our game and hopefully we can keep improving.”
In their previous four events together, Alison and Andre have posted 17th, fifth, 25th and 25th finishes with a 6-7 match mark. Bruno and Pedro have three ninths and a 17th to their credit with a 9-9 match mark.
"They are a very good team and they've been doing well lately," said Alison after his match with the Canadians. "We had some lapses in the start and the end of the first set, but we regained our focus and switched our strategy after that and things changed for us. We're still improving as a team, but a start like this just takes some pressure off us now."
Two other teams from Brazil won opening elimination matches on Friday afternoon, including 10th-seeded Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves and 21st-seeded qualifiers Gustavo "Guto" Carvalhaes/Ricardo Santos. Evandro was involved with the late May partner-switch as he was playing with Andre, his gold medal partner at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna.
Other teams winning their elimination matches were top-seeded Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena of the United States, eighth-seeded Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria, 14th-seeded Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland, 19th-seeded Ilya Leshukov/Konstantin Semenov of Russia and 31st-seeded Martin Ermacora/Moritz Pristauz-Telsnigg of Austria.
While the men play two rounds of elimination on Saturday, the women will be competing in their semifinal and medal matches. The men conclude competition on Sunday with the final four matches as the gold medal winners will each share the $40,000 first-place prizes.