Doha, Qatar, April 8, 2016 – Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl reached their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour final when they progressed to the Qatar Open gold medal match at Al Gharafa Sports Club on Friday.
The Austrians will now play Italy’s Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula who beat Poland’s Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor 2-0 (27-25, 21-14).
Huber and Seidl’s previous best was bronze at the 2013 Fuzhou Open and they needed to be on top form against 2015 Qatar gold medallists Markus Bockermann and Lars Fluggen before the Germans withdrew late in the second set through injury.
“It was too bad, but they fought until the end,” Huber said. “They didn’t want to give it to us and I appreciate that because I wanted to fight for this spot in the finals. It was fun, we were fighting, they were fighting and I am really happy that we came through.
“We can still improve from this match, it was our first semifinal for three years, whereas these guys play semis and finals every week, so they are more used to it.”
It was a disappointing end for Bockermann and Fluggen who appeared to be nearing the form that had taken them to Qatar gold last November.
“It was his knee,” Bockermann said. “He had bad movement yesterday and we tried to stabilise it with physiotherapy and he tried to play but the chances were too small.
“It was a really, really mentally hard game. It was almost as hard for me as Lars because I tried to help him and we tried to play really simply.”
For Ranghieri and Carambula the final presents the chance to win their first World Tour medal since they won Antalya Open gold in October 2015.
“We won game one and that was a tight game,” Carambula said. “In the second we knew we had to stay on top of our game and I think we put the pressure on them.”
The Qatar Open is the second and last tournament for men only on the 2016 portion of the 2015-2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. It is the third straight year that Qatar has hosted a FIVB World Tour event in Doha and it runs from April 4-8 when the medal matches take place.
The event continues the Road to Rio that lasts until June 13, 2016 with FIVB World Tour events counting towards the Olympic Ranking in order to determine 15 of 24 spots for each gender that will take part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The next World Tour tournament is the Xiamen Open in China, which takes place from April 12-17.