11_BPT Rosarito - Men Main Draw NEDvsITA

Brouwer and Meeuwsen were perfect on the first day of the main draw in Mexico

The first day of the main draw of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Rosarito, Mexico, ended with an upset on the men’s side as Dutch veterans Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen defeated reigning Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sorum in pool play in the final match of the schedule.

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The 2013 world champions and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallists were in excellent form all day and started their campaign with a three-set (16-21, 21-11, 16-14) victory against the new Italian team of Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava.

Later, they took on Mol and Sorum, who had defeated Americans Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) in the morning, and became the first team in Pool B to secure two victories after they took the Norwegians down in straight sets (21-17, 21-16).

“It feels great, they're such a tough team”, Meeuwsen said about their victory. “We were really patient, calm and focused and had an excellent strategy tonight. I'm really happy with the win, but we're far from guaranteed on the next round, so we'll just keep doing the same things and will approach the next match the same way.”

Brouwer and Meeuwsen are actually one of the few teams in international beach volleyball that can be proud of having won more than they have lost against the Vikings. Their Rosarito victory improved the Dutchmen's record against the Norwegians to eight wins and six losses.

In the other match of the pool, Bourne and Crabb topped Nicolai and Cottafava in two sets (24-22, 21-18) to celebrate their first triumph in Rosarito.

Alison Cerutti and Gustavo ‘Guto’ Carvalhaes are in a comfortable position in Pool D after they won their first two main draw matches in Rosarito. The Brazilians are yet to drop a set in the tournament after they won a pair of two-setters in the qualifier and two more on Thursday.

Alison and Guto defeated Czech Olympians Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) in their first match and continued to roll in the second, when they topped the Mexican top team of Jose Rubio and Josue Gaxiola also in two sets (21-19, 21-14).

Gaxiola/Rubio vs. Alison/Guto - Match Highlights

“We had a lot of patience,” Alison said. “The Mexicans played very differently from the last time I had faced them and we had to adjust and change our strategy at times. I feel like we’re in a better rhythm now than we were last week in Tlaxcala and I’m confident we’ll continue to grow the more we play.”

The pool remains open with both quarterfinal spots still up for grabs after Dutch Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot beat Rubio and Gaxiola 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-10) but fell to Perusic and Schweiner in straight sets (21-19, 21-11).

World ranking leaders Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar were one of two teams to win their opening matches in Pool A. The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists defeated Brazilians Evandro Goncalves and Alvaro Filho in the tie-breaker (21-17, 18-21, 15-12).

Cherif/Ahmed vs. Evandro/Álvaro Filho - Match Highlights

Polish Michal Bryl and Bartosz Losiak, who won the Tlaxcala Challenge last Sunday, continued at a good pace and prevailed over Austrian qualifiers Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller in two sets (21-14, 21-17).

In Pool D, Andre Loyola/George Wanderley and Adrian Carambula/Enrico Rossi were off to great starts with comfortable victories. The third-seeded Brazilians dominated Latvian veterans Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins to a 2-0 (24-22, 21-8) win while the Italian Olympians triumphed against American qualifiers Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk also in two sets (21-14, 21-14).

04_BPT Rosarito - MN Main Draw LATvsBRA

Andre sets partner George during the duel with the Latvians

Friday’s schedule in Rosarito will feature 12 more pool play matches, which will conclude the opening phase of the tournament. The top two teams in each pool will advance to Saturday’s elimination round, which will feature the quarterfinals and the semifinals. The medal matches in Mexico will take place on Sunday.