Polish players hog limelight in Qatar Open knock-out

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Polish players stole the knock-out show of the Qatar Open Beach Volleyball Tournament as they eliminated the two top seeds before the semi-finals on Thursday.

At the Qatar Beach Volleyball Academy courts, sixth seeds Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak stunned top seeds Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson of the USA in straight sets at 21-18 21-17 in barely 17 minutes to move into the semi-finals.

A regular finisher in the third round, Kantor and Losiak were ninth last year here. But in the 2016, they have been showing good form and have just won the Rio Grand Slam event. Besides, they were third in the Kish Island Open, which was won by Qataris Jefferson Santos Pereira and Cherif Younousse.

Earlier in the second round, Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak staged an exciting comeback from a set down to dump second seeds Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst from Austria.

The Austrians pulled off the opening set in a tight finish but the Polish pair bounced back to reel off the next sets to complete their stirring 19-21 21-19 15-12 victory in 48 minutes.

However, their giant-killing act was cut short by Austrians Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl who won at 21-17 22-20 to book a semi-final clash with defending champions Markus B’f6ckermann and Lars Fl’fcggen.

The holders brought their A game to the third round against Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo from Italy and sent the ninth seeds tumbling out with a gritty 28-26 21-19 triumph, achieved in 42 minutes.

“We are surprised it was 2-0,” Bockermann said.”I think we had a technically good day today and we did our job.”

“We enjoy playing here,” Bockermann added.”The key was we had fun out there, so we stayed more relaxed than normal and then we got away with some shots on the line and had a little luck.

“This time it feels better and we are playing a better side-out game here. Maybe we’re used to the sand as it is pretty deep here and we can handle that.”

The Austrians had two tough matches but they got through.”They were two hard-fought sets and in both matches we had to come back from behind,” Huber said.”It has been a great tournament so far for us and we’re enjoying it.

“We are aiming for the Continental Cup in June so there is still a lot of work to do. We had two good seasons in 2013 and 2014. In 2015 we had a tough break because I had an oblique injury and we couldn’t find our rhythm and we were really down. Now we have a good team around us and we are improving and improving.”

The other semi-final will be contested between Kantor and Losiak and winners of the seventh-seeded Italians Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich. The Italians defeated Brazilians Oscar Brand’e3o and Andre Loyola Stein, seeded 29th, in straight sets.

Both Italians and Brazilians made it to the last four stage with fighting victories. Ranghieri and Carambula dropped the opening set but rallied back hard to clinch the next two sets to beat Belgian duo of Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle at 16-21 21-17 15-11 in 45 minutes.

The Brazilians had a different route through the third round. They won the opening set but Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin pulled off the second sets in extended points. However, they could not sustain their comeback push and faded out in the decider, losing 16-21 24-22 8-15.

Results

Round Three

Ranghieri/Carambula ITA [7] Oscar/Andre BRA [29] 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) 0:35

Gibb/Patterson USA [1] Losiak/Kantor POL [6] 0-2 (18-21, 17-21) 0:34

Nicolai/Lupo ITA [9] Böckermann/Flüggen GER [10] 0-2 (26-28, 19-21) 0:42

Bryl/Kujawiak POL [26] Huber/Seidl AUT [21] 0-2 (17-21, 20-22) 0:32

Round 2

Stoyanovskiy/Yarzutkin RUS [16] Oscar/Andre BRA [29] 1-2 (16-21, 24-22, 8-15) 0:44

Ranghieri/Carambula ITA [7] Koekelkoren/van Walle BEL [22] 2-1 (16-21, 21-17, 15-11) 0:45

Losiak/Kantor POL [6] Winter/Petutschnig AUT [28] 2-0 (27-25, 21-12) 0:33

Fijalek/Prudel POL [4] Gibb/Patterson USA [1] 0-2 (16-21, 19-21) 0:37

Ingrosso M./Ingrosso P. ITA [14] Böckermann/Flüggen GER [10] 0-2 (14-21, 15-21) 0:37

Nicolai/Lupo ITA [9] Plavins/Regza LAT [18] 2-1 (12-21, 21-11, 15-12) 0:36

Huber/Seidl AUT [21] Durant/Soderberg AUS [25] 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) 0:36

Doppler/Horst AUT [2] Bryl/Kujawiak POL [26] 1-2 (21-19, 19-21, 12-15) 0:48

Round 1

Oscar/Andre BRA [29] Kadziola/Szalankiewicz POL [15] 2-1 (21-18, 22-24, 15-11) 0:50

Pedlow/O’Gorman CAN [19] Koekelkoren/van Walle BEL [22] 0-2 (16-21, 16-21) 0:34

Winter/Petutschnig AUT [28] Krou/Rowlandson FRA [13] 2-1 (21-14, 18-21, 16-14) 0:45

Gibb/Patterson USA [1] Júlio/Ahmed Tijan QAT [30] 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) 0:36

Böckermann/Flüggen GER [10] Giginoglu/Gögtepe V. TUR [17] 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-13) 0:59

Plavins/Regza LAT [18] Hyden/Bourne USA [5] 2-1 (21-23, 24-22, 15-10) 0:53

Binstock/Schachter CAN [11] Durant/Soderberg AUS [25] 0-2 (18-21, 18-21) 0:36

Kvamsdal/Sørum NOR [24] Bryl/Kujawiak POL [26] 0-2 (11-21, 24-26) 0:36