Yokohama, Japan, July 25, 2015 – Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt from Brazil pulled out another stunning performance to enter the 2015 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam quarterfinals after defeating USA’s Jacob Gibb/Casey Patterson 2-0 (21-16, 21-16). The double gender $800,000 FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam marks the first time both men and women have competed together in a FIVB World Tour event in Japan.
Alison/Bruno had similarly knocked Gibb/Patterson out at the same stage of the World Championships in the Netherlands last month and will now face Austria’s Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst in the semifinal.Alison/Bruno unbeaten against Gibb/Patterson
Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt from Brazil won the last two FIVB tournaments, the 2015 World Championships and the Gstaad Major Series and have an unbeaten record in their three matches against USA’s Jacob Gibb/Casey Patterson prior to Yokohama.
The quarterfinal was to play out in a similar fashion with the Brazilians showing their form from the first whistle. Gibb/Patterson displayed flashes of excellent with a perfect cross court from Gibb at 8-6 and a big block defence at 10-10 important points from the US pair.
A huge Casey serve was met with an equally huge Alison return and the Brazilians began to edge ahead before Alison put away the first set 21-16.
The second witnesses some great saves from Gibb/Patterson and a number of tough rallies were physically gruelling under the hot and humid conditions on centre court. Another long point at 12-12 went in USA’s favour as Alison/Bruno were caught off-guard as the ball dropped short over the net, but Brazil then scored a run of points establishing a lead that Gibb/Patterson could not quite close.
The undeniable force of Alison/Bruno took the match with an Alison two-in-a-row 2-0 (21-16, 21-16).
“We couldn’t be better, we are continuing our process, we are developing a good system of playing together, especially in the hard moments. We didn’t expect it to be so hot like this here in Japan, but we appreciate a lot that we are playing one more day here on Sunday. It’s the first tournament that they have had for a long time here and it couldn’t be better. We have an amazing view of the surroundings and the facilities and everything are good so I couldn’t be more happy,” said Bruno.
“We really appreciate the way we are playing right now, it makes it more interesting for our team and also for everybody and it’s so good when you play like this,” said Bruno.
“It’s amazing, it’s very, very hot, but Bruno is perfect in serving and defence,” said Alison.
Alison/Bruno will meet Doppler/Horst in the semifinal. Doppler/Horst have won only one of their five previous matches against Alison/Bruno when they eliminated the Brazilian pair at the St. Petersburg Grand Slam. Alison/Bruno have the most recent victory which was during pool play at the world championships. Russia’s Semenov/Krasilnikov enter first semi of the year
Under the breezy conditions of centre court Konstantin Semenov/Viacheslav Krasilnikov (RUS) faced Italians Matteo Ingrosso/Paolo Ingrosso in their quarterfinal match. The teams had previously had two head-to-heads and were one for one.
The versatile Ingrosso twins adapted to everything the Russian team threw at them, but a huge rally seeing both teams scrambling to recover put Semenov/Krasilnikov in the lead at 17-16 in the first. A couple of long serves out from the Italians at a crucial moment, were followed by two big Semenov attacks and the first set went to Russia 23-21.
Semenov’s huge 208cm height at the net was proving even more difficult to penetrate in the second with another two in a row, this time useful blocks gave momentum to Russia. The heat began to take its toll on both teams, but it was Semenov/Krasilnikov who had the win in sight and closed the match, 2-1 (23-21, 21-16).
“I’m very tired, my partner is the same, it was a very hard game and at twelve o’clock it’s very hot. This is a difficult team, we played in Norway against them and we lost. We are lucky that in this game we won. I feel very good for this year it’s the first time we play in a semfinal, I’m very happy and I hope to get the first medal,” said Semenov.
Semenov/Krasilnikov enter their first final four this year and their best result to date was the Moscow Grand Slam in which they won gold. The Russian pair now face Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton from Canada in the semifinal, the two teams have never played each before and it is also Canada’s first final four of the year.
“Tomorrow is tomorrow, of course we hope that we win the semifinal and play in the final match,” said Semenov.
This year’s FIVB Yokohama Grand Slam will be the third of five double-gender FIVB Grand Slams, each with a total purse of $800,000, on the FIVB World Tour 2015. Seven FIVB men’s only events were held in Japan from 1989-1995 with six being held in Enoshima and one in Yokohama in 1991. A total of 14 women’s only events were held in Osaka from 1994-2005 and in 2008 and 2009.
Japan has hosted a total of 21 FIVB World Tour events (seven men, 14 women) with the United States leading the medal count for men and Brazil dominating the medal tally for women.
Following the Yokohama Grand Slam the 2015 FIVB World Tour will have a three-week break before resuming in the United States with the double-gender FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in Southern California set for August 18-23.