2018-07-13 20:31:00 CEST
Gibb/Crabb and Mol/Sørum will clash in one of the semifinals in Gstaad
The Swatch Major Gstaad will see two teams playing in a Beach Major Series semifinal for the first time as USA’s Jake Gibb/Taylor Crabb and Norway’s Anders Mol/Christian Sørum advanced to the last day of the men’s tournament in the Swiss Alps.
Gibb and Crabb, who started the tournament at full power by defeating USA’s Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena and Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai on Wednesday, returned to the sand on Friday to get two more wins and advance to the first semifinal since they started playing together, in 2017.
The Americans actually earned a free pass to the quarterfinals as Dutchmen Christiaan Varenhorst had an ankle injury on Thursday and could not play with his partner Jasper Bouter in the Round of 16. In the quarterfinals, whoever, Gibb and Crabb were highly demanded as they needed all three sets (21-17, 19-21, 15-13) to prevail over Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs and make it to the Final Four of a World Tour event for the first time together.
It was the third three-set match played by the 42-year-old Gibb and the 26-year-old Crabb, who entered the Gstaad Major eager for a good result after finishing 25th, 17th and 17th in the last three international tournaments they played at.
“It had to be in three sets again, as we expected,” Crabb joked after the match. “It’s our first semifinal together so we’re excited by the opportunity and looking forward to it.”
Their opponents, the 21-year-old Mol and the 22-year-old Sørum, have played in a World Tour final already, as they won silver in the Itapema four-star in May, but are enjoying their best result in the Beach Major Series, at least one step higher than the fifth-place they got in Klagenfurt in 2016, the first time they played together.
They could become the youngest team to ever win a Beach Major Series tournament.
“It’s been a fairy tale this whole tournament,” Mol commented. “Now we are in the semifinals and we actually fight for a cowbell. I would never imagine this before the season.”
Like the Americans, the Norwegians are also undefeated in Gstaad, having won all four matches they played at this week. In the quarterfinals, just a few hours after taking Brazil’s Olympic champion Bruno Schmidt and his partner Pedro Solberg down, they ended the run of Belgium’s Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) victory.
The semifinals and the medal matches of the Gstaad Major will be played on Saturday.
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