2018-07-13 15:17:00 CEST
Eight teams are still alive in the hunt for the Gstaad cowbells
From the 32 men’s teams that started off in the Swatch Major Gstaad’s main draw on Wednesday, just eight still stand as the competition narrows in the Swiss Alps. After the conclusion of the Round of 16, the quarterfinals were set with matches scheduled to Friday’s evening.
Among the eight teams that secured theirs spots in the quarterfinals, one has gone a long way to get there. Belgians Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle, who started their journeys in Gstaad in the qualification tournament, have already won five straight matches in the Swiss Alps, with the last of them being the 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) triumph over Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins that booked their places in to the top-8.
The good campaign comes in a good moment for the Belgians as they had failed to even make the main draw in back-to-back four-star tournaments in Ostrava and Warsaw. With at least a fifth place assured, they’ve already guaranteed not only their best international result in 2018 but also their best-ever finish in the Beach Major Series.
Their next opponents will be the young Norwegians Anders Mol and Christian Sørum, who came from behind to top Brazil’s Pedro Solberg and Bruno Schmidt in three sets (19-21, 21-18, 15-12). It will the first time in the Beach Major Series and just the second overall in 19 years of competition that a Brazilian tandem fails to reach the podium in Gstaad.
Defending champions Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena of the USA also advanced to the quarterfinals as they posted a 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) victory over Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson on Center Court.
They will compete for a spot in the semifinals with Italians Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai, who took Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl down in two sets (25-23, 26-24). The teams have faced each other five times already and the Americans won four, including the gold medal match of the Fort Lauderdale Major, back in March.
Polish Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak, the silver medalists in Gstaad last year, crashed out in the Round of 16, though, after a two-set (21-19, 21-18) defeat to Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs.
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The Europeans will now meet USA’s Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, who advanced to the quarterfinals automatically as Dutchmen Christiaan Varenhorst and Jasper Bouter couldn’t play because of a twisted ankle injury suffered by Varenhorst on Thursday.
Other team from the Netherlands progressed, however, as Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen brought an end to the journey of Italian underdogs Tiziano Andreatta and Andrea Abbiati in Gstaad with a three-set (21-13, 15-21, 16-14) triumph over the qualifiers in the Round of 16.
The Dutch will now face veteran Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira, who advanced after a 2-0 (21-19, 23-12) victory over Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst and hold an 11-6 win record over Brouwer and Meeuwsen in international play. It’s the 100th World Tour event for Herrera and Gavira as a team.
Quarterfinals will take place on Friday evening while the semifinals and the medal matches are scheduled for Saturday.
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