The Americans Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal are on a roll after their second consecutive Grand Slam gold. Having conquered the Norwegian harbour of Stavanger two weeks ago, the top-seeded FIVB duo dropped only a set throughout the entire tournament in Gstaad in the late Saturday semifinal s against compatriots Ryan Doherty and Nicholas Lucena.
The picturesque village of Gstaad is unconditionally a lucky place for Phil Dalhausser. This was his third gold overall in the Swiss Alps, whereas notable was his triumph here back in 2007 when he and former partner Todd Rogers won the World Championship.
In the final on Sunday Dalhausser met another impressive blocker and an old acquaintance of his – the Brazilian Alison Cerutti. Challenging was also the battle between the two defenders, undoubtedly among the best in the world, Sean Rosenthal and Bruno Oscar Schmidt. We had Brazil versus the USA in a final for the 59th time in FIVB World Tour’s history. The level of beach volleyball was great, however the Americans could prevail at the net and in defence and in the end they did not let Alison-Bruno take the match into a decider. 21-17, 21-17 was enough for a second straight Grand Slam win.
“I love coming to Gstaad, it is such a beautiful place, the most beautiful on the Tour,” Dalhausser said. “My family is here, so it always fun to play in front of them because I don’t get to play in front of them too often.”
Alison-Bruno matched their best ever finish together since they teamed up at the end of last year. Despite missing the gold once more, they made it to another World Tour podium after the bronze at the Berlin Grand Slam and the silver from Fuzhou.
We should put the nickname “qualification masters” to Doherty-Lucena, the only team to really shatter Dalhausser-Rosenthal’s title hopes in Gstaad. For the second time this season the Americans made it to the podium having survived the preliminary qualifiers. The yankees grabbed the bronze in Switzerland by beating the most consistent European tandem this week – the Germans Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik, in straight sets (21-19, 21-16). After the health issues of Samoilovs-Smedins, the Round 1 problems of the new continental champions Nicolai-Lupo and the failed quarterfinal attempts of Herrera-Gavira and Doppler-Horst respectively, Europe settled its hope on the experienced Germans who left the Alps empty-handed.