Teams from Italy and Austria claim silver and bronze at Fuzhou Open
News from the FIVB
Fuzhou, China, April 27, 2013. USA’s Sean Rosenthal and Philip Dalhausser clinched gold after beating Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo in the final of the Fuzhou Open in China on Saturday.
In their first tournament together Rosenthal and Dalhausser faced the young Italian pair Nicolai/Lupo securing the gold in a cool two sets 2-0 (21-18, 24-22). The silver for the Italians equals their best World Tour/Open result which was also in China at the Beijing Grand Slam in 2012. Paolo Nicolai was named the FIVB Most Improved Player in 2012 and it’s clear to see that the Italian pair is one to watch also in 2013.
“When you lose a game it’s always disappointing but we know that Sean and Phil are a very good team, maybe the best of the World Tour and so we’ll try next time to do better,” said Nicolai.
Nicolai and Lupo’s semi-final was against 32nd seeded Austrians Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl. Huber and Seidl fought hard to pull back in the second set, but it wasn’t quite enough against the Italians who won their position in the final 2-0 (21-16, 23-21).
“The Austrian guys are like the surprise of this event and so we know that they can play very well. They beat Todd Rogers, they beat Gibb so we had a lot of pressure but we played well and so won the game,” said Nicolai.
The bronze medal eventually went to Huber/Seidl after an outstanding tournament in which they went all the way to the podium from the Qualification Tournament. They beat three-time Olympic medalist Brazil’s Ricardo Santos, playing in his 120th FIVB World Tour/Open final four, and his new partner Álvaro Morais 2-0 (21-18, 21-18).
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