Top qualifying seeds out at men’s Fort Lauderdale Major


The Czech Republic's David Schweiner (left) and Ondrej Perusic posted victories against Aaron Nusbaum and Michael Plantinga from Canada and against Fort Lauderdale champions Alvaro Filho and Saymon Barbosa of Brazil.

Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 27, 2018 - Teams from the Czech Republic, Norway, Chile and Austria defeated the second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-seeded teams in the men’s qualifiers here Tuesday afternoon at the $600,000 Fort Lauderdale Major to earn a spot in the main draw along with four other teams from Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner posted the biggest upset as the 14th-seeded team from the Czech Republic scored a 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) win in 33 minutes over third-seeded Saymon Barbosa and Alvaro Filho of Brazil, the defending Fort Lauderdale Major champions.

“We are still growing but we are very glad to be in the main draw," said Schweiner after the match with Brazil.  "It’s a great feeling to be in the main draw - two big beds and breakfast!  We have been practising here for one month so we are starting to be familiar with the wind. It is very hard, you have to keep the ball really low or it will blow away. This is our biggest win so far. We played them (Brazil) in Moscow last year and were leading them 14-12 in the tiebreak and we lost 16-14 so this is sweet revenge.”

Playing a match earlier, 18th-seeded Mathias Berntsen and Hendrik Mol of Norway eliminated second-seeded Mariusz Prudel and Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland 2-0 (24-22, 21-11) in 35 minutes. The Polish pair entered play Tuesday as the last winner of the FIVB World Tour as Prudel and Szalankiewicz topped the Iranian podium on Kish Island on Saturday.

“It was a mental game with all this wind, so we had to be prepared for every ball, said Berntsen. "We got some aces and some good blocks so we were able to turn it and it is absolutely amazing."

Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz-Telsnigg posted two wins over United States pairs on Tuesday as the 12th-seeded Austrians ousted fifth-seeded Billy Allen/Ryan Doherty of the United States 2-1 (21-18, 21-23, 15-7) in 45 minutes to advance to the Main Draw. The 13th-seeded Chilean cousins of Esteban and Marco Grimalt eliminated fourth-seeded Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen of Germany 2-0 (21-9, 22-20) in a 30-minute meeting of Rio 2016 Olympians.

Other teams posting qualifying victories to advance to Wednesday’s opening modified pool play rounds are top-seeded Pedro Solberg/George Wanderley of Brazil, sixth-seeded Jasper Bouter/Christiaan Varenhorst of the Netherlands, seventh-seeded Christopher McHugh/Damien Schumann of Australia and eighth-seeded Nico Beeler/Marco Krattiger of Switzerland.

Competing along side the women, the men’s Fort Lauderdale Major concludes Sunday with the medal matches where the winning team will share the $40,000 first-place prize. The women’s finale will be played Saturday as the FIVB World Tour returns to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park for the third time in the last four seasons.