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2018-03-02 00:56:00 CET

Experience wins the day for USA

Old heads on top as Americans fightback on Center Court

John Hyden - at 45 the oldest man in the main draw in FloridaJohn Hyden - at 45 the oldest man in the main draw in Florida

As we’ve found out in beach volleyball, age makes no difference – it doesn’t matter how old you are.

And Americans John Hyden and Theo Brunner proved theory that further by coming from behind to beat a team half their age and book a place in the Fort Lauderdale Major elimination stages.

The Americans – combined age 77 – were too hot in the final two sets to see off the brave challenge of Austrians Moritz Pristauz and Martin Ermacora – combined age 44.

It came after a disappointing opening match in the tournament on Wednesday so the pair were delighted to reverse that form against the Europeans, winning 19-21, 21-16, 15-8.

“We played bad yesterday, period,” said 45-year-old Hyden. “We said before we needed to forget about it and it worked.

“I think confidence starts to flow once you start blocking and digging and that was the case today. Yesterday that didn’t happened.”

Blocker Brunner, meanwhile, had further incentive to put on a performance on the Red Bull Beach Arena court.

“I had family coming from Connecticut and Wisconsin so it wouldn’t have been nice for them to see me going out in two sets,” Theo said. “So I’m glad we got a rhythm going and to play well for once.

“It’s been a long pre-season for me so to finally play and win is really important but we knew we could match these guys and I think we used our experience against them really well.”

The young Austrians were naturally disappointed that their Fort Lauderdale Major journey was over at the pool play stage – especially after taken the first set.

“Of course you always want more when you win the first set,” said Pristauz, the youngest man on court at 21. “They adapted their game and it’s disappointed we couldn’t get it back but we’re satisfied with our performance.

“We made it through the qualification and made it through to the main draw so we have to be happy with that. We’ve improved our game through the winter but when you play against guys like these it’s tough. They’re so experienced – Hyden is 45 and older than both of us together.

“They made the right decisions at the right moments and it was hard for us to comeback.”

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