11.07.2019 - Gstaad
They had to go through a battle, but Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo remain alive in the Swatch Major Gstaad. The Italians had dropped a pool play match on Wednesday, but came back strong to power through the Round of 24 in the Swiss Alps village.
Lupo and Nicolai, who took silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic, crossed paths with another medalist of the Games, Latvian Janis Smedins, who won bronze in London 2012, and his partner Aleksandrs Samoilovs. The Italians prevailed in two close sets and celebrate their qualification after the thrilling rally that sealed their 21-18, 23-21 win.
The will find another Olympic medalist on their way in the mountains, though, as the Italians are now set to face Rio 2016 Olympic champion Alison Cerutti and his partner Álvaro Filho. The Brazilians are still undefeated in tournament after they downed world champions Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov of Russian on pool play.
The first Round of 24 matches of the Gstaad Major also saw other three teams advance, including Americans Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb, who needed all three sets (21-18, 19-21, 15-10) to oust Canadians Ben Saxton and Grant O’Gorman. Their next opponents will be reigning champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum of Norway.
Russians Nikita Liamin and Taras Myskiv are also through after they eliminated Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt in three sets – 26-24, 19-21, 15-9. They will now play against Brazil’s Evandro Gonçalves and Bruno Schmidt.
Czechs Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner have also advanced after their 21-12, 21-18 victory over Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst. Canadians Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter stand between them and the quarter-finals.