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2017-06-30 21:01:00 CET

Treble chance for American men

Three US teams eyeing Poreč Major quarterfinal

Nick Lucena and partner Phil Dalhausser were involved in a breathtaking match on the Red Bull Beach ArenaNick Lucena and partner Phil Dalhausser were involved in a breathtaking match on the Red Bull Beach Arena

It was a good day for the men from the United States as three teams secured their place in the last 16 of the Poreč Major.

As Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb and Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser failed to top their pools, both teams needed a first elimination round match to book their ticket for Saturday’s next stage.

For 2016 Olympians Nick and Phil, they had to work for their win against Chilean cousins Marco and Esteban Grimalt. After taking the first set a comfortable 21-11, the second set was truly epic. In the longest set of the tournament so far, the Americans won 37-35. The South Americans missed eight opportunities to level the score at 1-1 before Dalhausser won it for the Americans at the 10th attempt much to the delight of the crowd on the Red Bull Beach Arena.

“It was frustrating because we had a lot of opportunites,” Lucena said afterwards. “We gave them the lead, got it back and almost gave it away again.

“They were playing great so we were trying to stay in the game and it just worked in our favour. It’s frustrating because we usually put those points away, especially match balls.

“Hats off to them [Grimalts] they were a tough team.

“We’re not at our peak yet – it’s our aim to peak at the World Championships but we’re getting better.”

Gibb and Crabb were also involved in a tough game, edging past Poles Kantor/Losiak in three exhausting sets in 53 minutes on side court 3.

The two teams join Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner in the last 16. Click here to find out who is playing who on Saturday in a bid to reach the quarterfinals.

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