Xiamen, China, April 27, 2019 – Pablo Herrera & Adrian Gavira will face Oleg Stoyanovskiy & Viacheslav Krasilnikov after a gruelling day on court at the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Xiamen Open.

Spain’s Herrera/Gavira’s are going for a second Xiamen Open gold after the pair won in 2016 and the team has taken a number of impressive wins along the way.

Their first step of the day was beating top USA team, Taylor Crabb & Jacob Gibb, 2-1 (21-19, 14-21, 15-10), before defeating world number one, Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sørum in a nail-biting quarterfinal, 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 17-15).

“The match against Norway was great because, I think the past three times we met them, we lost easily. The first set today was like always, but we changed it up in the second and third and finally we won,” said Herrera.

The Spanish team then met Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan in the semifinal in their third match of the day. Cherif/Tijan have been in fighting form throughout Xiamen beating the likes of Alison/Álvaro Filho, Kantor/Losiak and Samoilovs/Smedins.

The teams got to work in front of the crowd at Guanyinshan Beach and it was Herrera/Gavira who managed to edge control in the first. A number of service errors and tricky aces under the blustery conditions on centre didn’t help the Qatari pair and a big Gavira hit gave Spain the spot in Xiamen’s final, 2-0 (21-17, 21-17).

“In the beginning it was very tough because we’ve already played two games today. We started fighting and I felt very good on the side-out, Gavira was pushing in the service. I think we were maybe 100% in the side-out, we played perfect and now we’ll see tomorrow if we have the same feeling,” said Herrera.

“Three years ago Xiamen was perfect for us, we won the gold medal, we will try again tomorrow. It was a long day with three matches so now we need to rest and tomorrow we will fight with everything,” said Gavira.

Herrera/Gavira will now meet Stoyanovskiy/Krasilnikov in the gold medal match after the Russians beat Italians Enrico Rossi and Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich in the semi.

Of the eight teams still standing by the quarterfinals, the Italians were the rank outsiders, seeded 27th among the main draw teams in Xiamen. The team play in only their third tournament as a team, winning silver in the Sydney 3-Star last month.

Carambula has become known on the tour for his sky-ball style of serving which proved especially difficult to handle under the blustery conditions on centre court.

The Italian team’s somewhat unorthodox style of beach volleyball gave Stoyanovskiy/Krasilnikov the run around for a time, but with Krasilnikov one of the world’s best defenders and Stoyanovskiy’s wall at the net, it is Russia that goes on for the chance at Xiamen gold, 2-0 (21-14, 21-19).

“It was a really tough match despite the score. The Italian boys don’t play a standard game, a lot of explosions and jump sets, so it was a bit hard for us,” said Stoyanovskiy.

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