Klagenfurt, Austria, July 27, 2016 - With the A1 Major Klagenfurt being the 18th FIVB World Tour men’s event held in the Carinthian capital city, Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz-Telsnigg became the second Austrian team to advance from an international qualifier to the Main Draw by winning two matches here Wednesday.
Seeded 15th in the $800,000 A1 Major Klagenfurt men’s qualifier, Ermacora and Pristauz-Telsnigg defeated Austrian rivals and 18th-seeded Peter Eglseer and Florian Schnetzer 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 18-16) in 49 minutes in their first match Wednesday followed by a 2-0 (23-21, 21-13) win in 33 minutes over second-seeded Maciej Kosiak and Maciej Rudol of Poland.
With the two victories, Ermacora and Pristauz-Telsnigg will join Austrian Olympians Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst and Alexander Huber/Robin Seidl in the “money” rounds along with Christoph Dressler/Thomas Kunert, who received a “wild card” for the event that is owned and operated by the Beach Majors Company, the world’s leading producer of Beach Volleyball events.
“What a great feeling,” said the 22-year old Ermacora, who will be playing in only his third FIVB World Tour Main Draw with the 20-year old Pristauz-Telsnigg. “Advancing here today before the Austria fans is something special. We had failed to qualify in our last four world tour events, so today’s wins are a big accomplishment for us.”
With the Klagenfurt stop on the international circuit starting in 1997 with an event being held every year since, except for 2013 and 2015, only the Schroffenegger brothers (Paul and Thomas) were able to accomplish the feat by winning three qualifying matches in July 2003 to gain a berth in the “money” rounds.
The Austrian accomplishment overshadowed the success by three American teams that qualified for Thursday’s opening pool play rounds. Top-seeded Taylor Crabb/Trevor Crabb led the American effort with wins over pairs from New Zealand and Austria. Other American qualifiers were 10th-seeded Billy Allen/Theo Brunner and 14th-seeded Ryan Doherty/John Mayer.
Other qualifiers were ninth-seeded Nico Beeler/Marco Krattiger of Switzerland, 12th-seeded Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway, 27th-seeded Vinicius Gomes/Marcio Guadie of Brazil and 29th-seeded Davide Dal Molin/Andrea Tomatis of Italy.
For Allen/Brunner, Doherty/Mayer, Beeler/Krattiger and Gomes/Guadie, Wednesday’s victories followed triumphs Tuesday during the A1 Major Klagenfurt country quota rounds. The Americans and Swiss had to win one match Tuesday to advance to the qualifier while Gomes and Guadie had to defeat two Brazilian rivals to earn a spot in Wednesday’s competition schedule.
With the A1 Major Klagenfurt men’s Main Draw set, the 32-team field will play pool play matches Thursday leading to Friday afternoon’s first-round of elimination. Following two rounds of elimination Saturday, the men’s semi-final and medal matches will be played Sunday.
With the women’s finale being Saturday, the winning teams in both genders will split the $57,000 first-place prizes in the fourth of five SWATCH Major Series evens this season. The women’s A1 Major Klagenfurt Main Draw started Wednesday with the first elimination round Thursday afternoon.