2018-03-03 20:19:00 CEST
Brazilians come back from the dead to stun America
“I’ve been in 50 semifinals in my career and this will be George’s first.”
Pedro Solberg couldn’t have put it any better after he and new partner George Wanderley fought back from the brink to book a place in the Fort Lauderdale Major semifinal.
Solberg, 31 and new partner George, 21, edged a thrilling quarterfinal on the Red Bull Beach Arena after producing a stunning comeback in the deciding set. The Brazilians trailed 13-10 in the third against Americans John Hyden and Theo Brunner – but, unbelievably, five straight points secured them a spot in the last four.
Pedro, who won the Poreč Major last year with Guto, felt the wind had a big say in their epic comeback.
“In these conditions anything is possible,” he said. “We knew we still had a chance because this kind of wind isn’t easy to play in. Three or four points down is not impossible when it’s windy and that’s how it turned out.”
This is George’s first Beach Volleyball Major Series event and Pedro knows how important his experience is in helping his young teammate.
“I was 21 once,” smiled Pedro. “When you’re young you can lose your attention quickly. It’s easy to lose focus if you win. You can lose your focus when you win the first set and you think the second set is going to be easy.
“My job is to make us stay strong, to focus and to pay attention. I know that George’s mind isn’t ready yet – he’s young. His body is ready and his game is ready.
“Every match he is improving and I hope we can play even better in the next match.”
That next match, for a place in Sunday’s final, comes against Olympic silver medalists and reigning European champions Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo.
The Italians were made to work hard in a match that lasted almost an hour on court 2, winning in three sets, 24-22, 19-21, 17-15, against Spaniards Herrera/Gavira.
The teams meet on the Red Bull Beach Arena at 7.15pm EST and you can watch it live on BeachStream.
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