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2018-02-28 21:35:00 CET

Gibb and Crabb’s win opens the Red Bull Beach Arena

The American team prevailed over Belgium’s Koekelkoren and Van Walle in the first match on Center Court

Taylor Crabb sets in the American's win against the BelgiansTaylor Crabb sets in the American's win against the Belgians

The Red Bull Beach Arena is on, folks! And what a better way to have it open than with a victory of a home team? Thank Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb for that as the Americans pleased their fans on their first match at the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Major with a three-set win over Belgium’s Tom van Walle and Dries Koekelkoren.

The US team lost the first set, but found its best game and change the story of the match with a 2-1 win (19-21, 21-11, 15-11). The ability to adjust their style during the match was the Americans main asset on their debut.

“One or our main points for this match was adaptability,” Crabb said after the match. “We needed to be able to adapt to what they were doing in the game and I thought we did that very well. They came out really aggressive and put a lot of pressure on us but we were able to weather that and take it over.”

It was the first match of the 2018 season for Gibb and Crabb, who finished fifth in Fort Lauderdale last year, their best result of the season. The excitement for a new season touched the 42-year-old Gibb, a three-time Olympian.

“It was tough, we knew they were good, they’re so physical and athletic,” he commented. “I played nervous to start out, it’s funny, you start up a year and you feel the nerves all over again. We did a couple of passing errors and that’s something we need to clear up.”

The Americans will now face reigning world champions Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola of Brazil on Thursday with the winner getting the first place in Pool B.

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