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2017-07-28 18:55:00 CEST

Canadian strangers World Champs meeting

Saxton/Schalk come out on top in all-Canadian clash

There were plenty of derbies on the opening day of the World Champs – but one that really caught the eye was the all-Canadian clash out on court 3 involving last year’s Olympians Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk.

The pair took on countrymen Aaron Nusbaum and Ryan Vandenburg in their opening Pool L clash and came away with a straight sets victory to get their FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 to the perfect start.

“That’s pretty much what we’ve been doing all year. We always seem to get Canada first!” joked our blogger Ben afterwards.

“It’s nice to come out on top in that first game. We just wanted to get out there and make sure we were as smooth as possible and we did pretty well today.”

Nusbaum and Vandenburg are newcomers to the international game – indeed Schalk admitted he knew very little of their opponents on the other side of the net.

“We actually don’t know that team very well,” he said. “They’re not on the World Tour very often but we want to always start a tournament focusing on our side and figuring out our sideout, transition, get some defense going.

“We know we can beat everyone if we take of ourselves so that’s going to be the thought process going into every game, just deal with our stuff, deal with the wind. The conditions weren’t perfect here so it’s great that we dealt with it.”

Vandenburg and Nusbaum had never even set foot on the same court together on the international stage but the duo are confident they take earn a first win in their next match at the Danube Island.

“All we have to do is shake this one off and look forward to the next one,” Vandenburg said. “It’s the first game of World Championships for everybody so I think everybody has a little bit of nerves.

“After the first few points you settle down a little bit. They played well in that first set and we were on our heels a little bit but we got off to a good start in the second set. But like Aaron said we just didn’t convert our opportunities.”

Elsewhere on a busy first day of action in Vienna, Rio bronze medalists Brouwer/Meeuwsen recorded a straight sets victory over young Uruguayan pair Vieyto/Cairus.

But the Dutch duo weren’t that happy with their performance.

“It wasn’t exactly how we wanted to play our first match,” Brouwer said. “We wanted to put all of our skills out on the court today but that didn’t really work out. I am really happy that we won 2-0 and fought back in the second set after having a difficult time. 

“We weren’t playing as neat as we normally do.  Of course it was some windy circumstances but normally as Dutch we have everything under control in reception and setting but today was a bit sloppy.”

And finally, reigning champion Barbara Seixas suffered a setback in her quest to keep her world crown as with new partner Fernanda the duo lost to fellow Brazilians Elize Maia/Taiana Lima in a thrilling three-setter.

Watch all these matches back on our on demand service on the BeachStream channel and don’t forget to tune in to every match live throughout the tournament.

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