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2017-04-06 10:05:00 CET

2016 flashback: Awesome Alison/Bruno

Brazilians edge proud Austrians in fascinating final

Poreč Major winners on the podium! Photocredit: Sebastian MarkoPoreč Major winners on the podium! Photocredit: Sebastian Marko

Brilliant Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt silenced the capacity crowd on Center Court and won their third Swatch Major Series gold medals of their amazing careers.

With thousands of fans watching outside on a giant screen, it was a final that graced the highest level of beach volleyball, last year’s Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals winners were pushed all the way by Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst but they pipped the popular Austrians to gold in a thrilling final set.

Before the final, Bruno told us that he and Alison needed to come out of the blocks quickly and focus – and that’s exactly what they did, wrapping up the first set easily, 21-13.

On the other hand, Doppler admitted his team needed time to find their rhythm – and that was the case in a pulsating second set that was optimized by a simply incredible rally which put the Austrians on their way to an equalizing set.

It was a fascinating battle at the net throughout the game, with Doppler and Alison trading monster block after monster block, but all of a sudden – out of nowhere – the momentum was with the Brazilians and they led 6-4.

The Austrians, in their first final in four years, were not going to go down without a fight and a spectacular period of play saw both teams win and then waste points.

At 12-12 you could sense the nervous excitement on and off court but then came the crucial turning point. Superb defensive play from Horst gave him the opportunity to attack but he could only send his spike long and that handed the Brazilians the advantage much to his and the crowd’s despair.

And that proved to be decisive as, minutes later, it was all over and at 17:02 CET Alison and Bruno were celebrating their first Swatch Major Series gold since the Gstaad Major. I wonder where they are heading next…

To relive the final, why not check out our Storify story for a blow-by-blow account of all the drama on Center Court.

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