Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan yesterday clinched second win in a row at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships after blanking their American opponents in Rome, Italy.
The Olympic medalists looked in outstanding form as they prevailed over Taylor Sander and Taylor Crabb 21-14, 21-15 to retain top spot in Pool D.
The World No. 2 pair had earlier blanked their Paraguayan opponents Gonzalo Melgarejo and Roger Daniel with a 21-13, 21-12 score-line in their first match.
In yesterday’s match, Crabb and Sander managed to take an early lead as they led 5-7 at one time in the opening set at the Parco del Foro Italico beach court.
However, Cherif and Tijan managed to catch up quickly and denied the Americans any opportunity for a comeback, winning both the sets comfortably.
The Qatar duo will meet their final Pool D opponents, Frenchmen Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat tomorrow. The French pair is currently placed second in the group with three points, trailing Cherif and Tijan by one point.
Earlier yesterday, Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava, who defeated the top Qatari duo to win their first World Volleyball Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 title in Jurmala last week, outplayed their Colombian opponents in Pool K.
They beat Murray and Rivas in straight sets (21-12, 21-15) to collect their first points in Rome.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s World No.1 Andre Stein and George Wanderley defeated Christoph Dressler Alexander Huber of Austria 2-1 (22-20, 21-23, 15-11) in Pool E.
The Brazilian duo is tied on points with Latvia’s World No.14 Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins after the latter pair beat Iranians Bahman Salemi and Arash Vakili in another thrilling three setter 2-1 (22-24, 21-15, 15-13).
The Italian capital is the first city in the history of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships to host a second edition of the elite competition after welcoming the world’s best pairs back in 2011
The tournament sees 48 teams per gender, distributed into 12 round-robin pools of four pairs each.
At the end of the pool phase, the top two teams in each pool and the best four third-placed pairs will advance to the elimination rounds.
The remaining eight teams that rank third in their pools will play a four-match lucky-loser round to complete the 32 teams in the knockout stage.