Cherif (left) and Tijan are aiming to win Qatar's first World Tour gold medal on home sand
Doha, Qatar, March 8, 2018 – Qatar’s leading duo of Cherif Younousse and Tajin Ahmed continued their pursuit of a home FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medal when they reached the semifinals of the 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup on Thursday.
Cherif and Tajin won three matches in one day, and it culminated in them fighting back to beat Poland’s Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek 2-1 (15-21, 21-15, 15-10) to reach the semifinals.
The 4-Star KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup runs from March 6-10, and is taking place at the KATARA Cultural Village. It is the fourth time that Doha has hosted an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament, following competitions in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“I’m so tired, but I gave my best until we go there,” Tijan said. “It will be the same tomorrow and we will give our best to be in the final because it is a beautiful venue and I want to carry on playing here.
“In the first set the guys were serving so well and that made receiving hard. But we started to play better in the second set and used our service to pressure them. It gave us opportunities and they started to make bad passes and bad receptions and that gave us the chance to get up and block them.”
Their win sets up a clash against Alex Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen. The Dutch duo were pushed all the way by Brazil’s Saymon Santos and Alvaro Filho, but eventually they held their serve to win 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 22-20).
Brouwer and Meeuwsen are chasing their second World Tour medal of 2018 having won bronze at The Hague 4-Star tournament at the start of the year.
“We had to play with our guts and put our heart on the court,” Brouwer said. “To be in the semis is a big reward, but it is just the start.
“We just had to keep pushing and we played with guts and took a few risks and I’m really happy with the win. It was important we regained focus on the things we want to improve, and each training session in pre-season was fully focused.
“We want to win tournaments this year, so hopefully we can start here.”
Number one seeds Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena survived a marathon first set to eventually beat Polish pair Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak 2-1 (37-35, 13-21, 15-6) after Kantor and Losiak were forced to pull out through injury.
They will now meet Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko, who beat Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins 2-0 (21-15, 21-13).Matches on Friday: