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2018-06-19 16:14:00 CET

The men fit for the mountains

Gripping men’s tournament on the cards in Gstaad

Nick Lucena (left) and Phil Dalhausser have reached the Gstaad Major final two years in a row - and captured gold last yearNick Lucena (left) and Phil Dalhausser have reached the Gstaad Major final two years in a row - and captured gold last year

The Major Series debuts of new Brazilian teams, the legendary returning winners or the raft of former Olympians in the qualification and country quota stage. We genuinely don’t know where to start when it comes to telling you about which men’s teams are set to star in the Swatch Major Gstaad next month.

Let’s start at the top of the bill with last year’s winners, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena. The Americans might have dropped off the top of the world rankings in recent weeks, but the duo have been in great form in 2018, winning the Fort Lauderdale Major on home sand as well as two AVP tournaments. The pair won silver the year before, and Swiss-born Dalhausser has four golden cowbells to his name – including a World Champs gold in 2007. Impressive stuff.

But all eyes will be on Brazil at the tournament 1,050 meters above sea level, as three new partnerships making their Major Series main draw debuts. Olympic champ Alison Cerutti – a winner here in 2015 and 2011 – teams up with reigning World champ Andre Loyola Stein.

Andre’s former partner, Evandro Gonçalves – himself a winner in Gstaad at the 2016 Major – will line-up alongside Vitor Felipe, while 2016 Rio hero Bruno Oscar Schmidt is reunited with former partner – and 2016 Gstaad champ – Pedro Solberg.

If that wasn’t enough, there’s still one place for Brazil up for grabs in the qualification stage with three teams eyeing one spot in the country quota matches. They include last year's bronze medalists Alvaro Filho and Saymon Barbosa and another new team, Guto Carvalhaes and 2004 Olympic champ and all-round beach legend Ricardo Santos. This is going to be good!

Canada's Ben Saxton is one of eight players in the qualification for Gstaad that played at the 2016 Rio OlympicsCanada's Ben Saxton is one of eight players in the qualification for Gstaad that played at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Last year’s runners-up, Piotr Kantor and Bartotz Losiak, are current the world’s number one team and the Poles return again this year as they seek to go one better. Italian Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai and the bronze medalists from the Copacabana, Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer – winners of three tournaments already this year – are also heading for the Alps. Former NBA basketball star Chase Budinger and two-time Gstaad winner Sean Rosenthal are also among the 24-team strong main draw as wildcards.

Swiss hopes in the main draw rest on the shoulders of three teams, World Tour regulars Nico Beeler and Marco Krattiger, Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson and wildcards Gabriel Kissling and Michiel Zandbergen.

Now if you thought all of that was enough to get you excited, just wait for the list of teams in the qualification. No less than eight players who played at the last Olympics will battle it out for a place in the main draw, including Canada’s Ben Saxton with Grant O’Gorman, Mexicans Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros and the cousins from Chile, Esteban and Marco Grimalt.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. As we’ve already mentioned the country quota will be needed to split three Brazilian teams into one, and it’s the same for the USA. 2016 Olympian Casey Patterson is among those involved as are recent Lucerne winners John Mayor and Trevor Crabb. Austria are also blessed with a number of teams and four tandems must contest the country quota to secure three available spots in qualification.

It’s a lot to take it – but check out our entry list section to see if your favorite team has made the main draw.

See you in Gstaad, guys!

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