Major upsets level the ground in Pool F

30.06.2019 - Hamburg, Germany

Saxton/O’Gorman and Capogrosso/Azaad defeated favorite American and Dutch teams

It took three days, but the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord saw its first major upsets as former world champions and Olympic medalists from the United States and the Netherlands were downed by lower-seeded opponents  on their second pool play matches at the Red Bull Beach Arena on Sunday.

American Phil Dalhausser, a 2008 Beijing Olympic champion and a 2007 world champion, and partner Nick Lucena couldn’t handle Canadians Ben Saxton and Grant O’Gorman, who defeated their continental neighbors 21-16, 21-19 on Pool F.

“We were just solid,” Saxton said. “Grant was getting every single ball in the backcourt and I think that was what made the difference. They couldn’t put the ball on the sand past Grant and they couldn’t score on us.”

To Dalhausser, the surprising upset needs to make the team change its attitude moving forward in the tournament.

“It just wasn’t very smooth on our side and they played well,” he reflected. “You can’t have a bad day on this tournament or you will lose. We just need to learn from it and we can’t come out flat like that. The good thing is that we still control our faith, so that’s all we’ll focus on.”

The other match of the pool also featured a major shock as Argentineans Nicolas Capogrosso and Julian Azaad posted a 22-20, 21-19 victory over Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen, the 2013 world champions and bronze medalists of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

“It was easily the biggest win of our careers and, I would say, also our best performance,” Azaad commented. “They’re the second-best team in the tournament in my opinion and my partner had a monstrous game. It was our best result in international play but I hope we can move forward in the tournament, play other great teams and get an even better one in the next few days.”  

The results kept the pool completely open with each team having one win and one loss after the first two match days. The definition is set to happen on Tuesday, when Americans and Dutch face each other and Canadians and Argentineans cross paths.