2018-07-11 20:13:00 CEST

Gibb/Crabb's great start to Gstaad

The Americans had a pair of three-set victories to top their pool

Crabb and Gibb were faced with three Olympic medalistsCrabb and Gibb were faced with three Olympic medalists

Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb couldn’t have hopped for a better start in the Swatch Major Gstaad as the Americans won a pair of matches in the Swiss Alps to top Pool E and end the first day of the tournament to qualify for the Round of 16.

Gibb and Crabb, who have finished 17th in their last two tournaments, were drawn into one of the tougher groups in Gstaad, but responded accordingly with back-to-back three-set victories.

First, they took down the Rio 2016 silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy 2-1 (15-21, 21-17, 15-12). Then, in their second match, they also need the tiebreaker to defeat fellow Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, the reigning champions in Gstaad, 22-24, 21-17, 15-13.

Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak, who won silver last year in the Swiss Alps, prevailed over Dutchmen Christiaan Varenhorst and Jasper Bouter also in three sets (16-21, 23-21, 15-10) in the last match of Pool C and are in the Round of 16 as well.

A Dutch team did win a pool, however. The 2015 world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen dominated Canada’s Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter to a 2-1 (24-22, 17-21, 17-15) victory on Pool D.

Heidrich and Gerson celebrate their victory at center courtHeidrich and Gerson celebrate their victory at center court

Meanwhile the home team of Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson came out on top of Pool H with a come-from-behind (17-21, 21-15, 20-18) win over the young Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko. Another young tandem to top its pool was Anders Mol/Christian Sørum of Norway, the first-placed in Pool B thanks to a dominant 2-0 (21-10, 21-14) triumph against Italians Tiziano Andreatta and Andrea Abbiati.  

Winning the other three pools were veteran Spanish Adrián Gavira/Pablo Herrera, who had a positive result against Latvians Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins, Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek/Michal Bryl, who prevailed over USA’s Sean Rosenthal/Chase Budinger, and Belgium’s Dries Koekelkoren/Tom van Walle, who took Qatar’s Ahmed Tijan/Cherif Younousse down.

Pool play will be concluded on Thursday, with the matches reuniting teams that lost their first games. The day’s schedule will also feature the Round of 24.

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