Brazilian pair Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt add World Tour wins to rio golds
Brazilian pair Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt won the men’s SWATCH World Tour Finals in Toronto after fellow gold medallists Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst captured the women’s title on Sunday.
Cerutti and Schmidt had to take on compatriots Pedro Solberg and Evandro Gonclaves in the final to have a chance of completing a dream double.
They defended their title in sensational style by sealing the third match point in two sets in front of a packed crowd down at Polson Pier in the Canadian city.
Not only did the in-form Brazilian duo pick up the trophy, but also the impressive US$100,000 grand prize.
Schmidt said, “We are competitive guys. We like to push each other especially in the hard moments.
“I think the way we’ve played this season we deserve a Brazil versus Brazil final. Ever since the beginning of the Olympic round we’ve given it our max and I think we’ve done that. What both teams have done is amazing.
“Toronto is amazing. Brazilians came here and the Canadians support not just their team but us too. Those things I want to keep in my mind for the rest of my life.”
American pair Tri Bourne and John Hyden managed to shake off their disappointing semi-final loss to defeat Canadian home duo Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk 2-0 (21-14, 22-20) in 43 minutes to secure bronze.
Germans Ludwig and Walkenhorst have enjoyed a superb season and they continued it with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-16) win in 41 minutes over Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr in the women’s final.
They also captured a US$100,000 first-place prize for their biggest financial return in four seasons playing together on the FIVB World Tour.
After winning the European Championships in June, the Games in Rio last month and now this, they can celebrate the off season in grand style.
Ludwig said, “There was a point during the European Championships when we lost in the pool play to Greece and that was a defining moment of the season.
“We didn’t pay attention to what we should have been doing on the court. We had a big talk after it and I think it was a key point.”
Walkenhorst added, ”I’m tired and I am glad the season is over. Today’s win was especially gratifying after losing to the Swiss Thursday. What a special season for us.”
Zumkehr, who retired after claiming silver, revealed: “I am pretty happy, but also in tears because I had a great time in beach volleyball. There are so many people I have to thank. All the players out there that pushed me to the limit. Proud and happy with what I have achieved.”
Swiss pair Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré won bronze to finish their season on a high by defeating Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes 2-0 (21-19 21-18).