Ingrosso twins off to a winning start in Qatar

 11 Nov 2015 - 0:07

Ingrosso twins off to a winning start in Qatar
Action from the Doha Open FIVB Beach volleyball championship at Qatar Beach Volleyball Academy in Al Gharafa in Doha yesterday.

Doha: Matteo and Paolo Ingrosso put three months away from the court behind them to record two wins from two on the opening day of the Doha Open yesterday. 
The Italian twins last played an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event at the Yokohama Grand Slam in July, where they reached the quarterfinals. Since then they played two CEV events before Paolo’s fingers injuries meant they had to take time off. 
They began their return with a 2-1 (21-18, 18-21, 20-18) win over Austria’s Peter Eglseer and Daniel Mullner and then followed up by defeating USA’s Stafford Slick and Mark Edwin Burik 2-0 (21-17, 22-20).
“We’ve started this Qatari adventure well, especially when you consider we haven’t been able to play for the last few months because of Paolo’s injury,” Matteo Ingrosso said. 
“We’re finding our rhythm a little at a time and we have to be pleased with how it went in these two matches. We had to work hard and remember the work that we did in training during these past few months.”
The 2014 gold medallists Jonas Schroder and Tim Holler picked up from where they left off a year ago by adding two more victories to their run in Doha. 
They defeated Italy’s Marco Caminati and Enrico Rossi 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) in their first match and then followed up with a 2-0 (21-18, 24-22) win over European Games champions Martins Plavins and Haralds Regza. 
“The start was ok,” Schroder said. 
“We both have some little injuries, me with my knee and he has some shoulder injuries. We are glad we won this game, but we are not at 100 per-cent right now.”
The pair had a delayed start to the 2015. After they won in Doha last year they had to wait till May 2015 for their next tournament, a German Tour event in Munster. 
The delay was caused after Schroder took up a five-month university semester abroad at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Since Schroder’s return they finished third overall on the German Tour, finished second at the CEV Milan Masters and finished fifth at the Antalya Open three weeks ago to suggest that they have started to return to the form that helped them win gold in 2014. 
“We have great memories from last year, but the teams are stronger than last year,” Holler said. 
“It was hard the first time after he was away, but then we found some form and finished third on the German Championship, second on the European Tour and we’re getting better.”
On Monday night, Joshua Court and Damien Schumann had to hold their focus to the end to ensured they progressed from the Qatar Open qualifiers to the main draw. 
The Australian pair began with a 2-1 (25-23, 17-21, 15-11) win over Venezuela’s Igor Hernandez and Leonard Alexis Colina Chourio and then followed that up by knocking out the top-ranked side in the qualifiers, England’s Jake Sheaf and Chris Gregory, 2-1 (24-22, 13-21, 15-13).
“It was brutal,” Court said. “They came out firing and so did we so it was a bit tit for tat in the first set. We just got the better of them in the third set, it was a bit shaky and there were some close points, but it was a great match by both teams.
“I think it was 12-9 at one point and that was a good mental breakthrough for us, just to keep siding out and stay on top of them and push through to beat them. It was 15-13, but that two, three-point break in the middle definitely gave us a help.”
Court and Schumann have been together on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour since the start of 2014 and made it through the qualifiers in Qatar a year ago. 
This year has been a tricky one for the duo, though they have enjoyed some success on their domestic tour as well as finishing second a week ago at the Oceania final of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Continental Cup. 
They also made it to the pool stage at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and would like to end the 2015 season on a high note. 
“It has been a bit of an up and down year, mainly down,” Schumann said. “We’ve had a tough year, Josh’s dad passed away right around the World Champs stage, so it’s been pretty hard finding time to consistently train together. 
“It didn’t go our way last week at the Continental Cup and then to come here and still be going for our serves even when it was tight is really positive for us. It’s not just the qualification, there are stacks of good teams here, so we are very happy to get through.”
Meanwhile, Poland’s Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak will join the Australians in the main draw after they beat Russia’s Ruslan Bykanov and Maksim Hudyakov 2-0 (21-15, 22-20) to progress. 
“It wasn’t that easy as it looked; it was a really tough game,” Kujawiak said. “The last set was very close, but we’re happy because after one month after stopping we are now in the main draw.”
The pair are one of the up and coming duos in Polish beach volleyball. They won the 2014 FIVB U21 World Championships and recently added gold at the European U22 Championships.
The pair were in the middle of some well-earned rest before the Polish Volleyball Federation asked them if they fancied playing in Qatar and they quickly accepted the offer and headed to Doha. 
“We stopped playing on the World Tour one month ago and finished after the CEV U22, but then our federation asked if we would like to come to Qatar,” Kujawiak added. 
“We’ve started to play the highest level in beach volleyball, so it is a good experience for us to be here.”
The last of three open events on the 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar, the FIVB Doha Open started on Monday and will continue till Friday at the Qatar Beach Volleyball Academy in the Al Gharafa Sports Club in Doha.
The Peninsula