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2017-08-05 12:52:00 CET

Brazilians tough it out to reach semis

Andre/Evandro fight back again to book last four place

Andre Loyola admitted his and teammate Evandro Goncalves mental strength again came to their rescue as they came from behind to beat Canadians Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk in three sets on the Red Bull Beach Arena.

Their victory also ensured that Brazil avoided a world championships first – never in the history of the tournament did the South American fail to have a team in the semifinals.

At one stage, however, that looked a distinct possibility as Saxton/Schalk – who dumped reigning world and Olympic champs Alison/Bruno out of the tournament yesterday – took the first set.

But, just like they did against Latvians Samoilovs/Smedins, Andre and Evandro stormed back and took the final two sets to reach the last four and a game against Dutch wildcards Christaan Varenhorst and Maarten van Garderen.

“We’ve worked a lot on the physiological side of the game,” Andre told us afterwards. “You always have to believe and have a mental toughness and I think that’s been the difference for us. Despite trailing we knew we could still come back.

“This year we’ve worked a lot with a phycologist to help us focus. At times we have to accept that we are nervous. We’re a young team and it’s okay sometimes to feel the pressure.

“That work is now paying off and this result in particular is the result of a lot of hard work over the past few months.”

As the remaining Brazilian team left in the men’s competition – Andre has his eyes on only one thing: gold.

“There’s always big competition between the Brazilian teams because we all need the ranking points to enter the tournaments,” said Andre, who is competing in his first world champs.

“I’m surprised we’re the last team from Brazil left – we thought we’d have a match-up in the semis, but with the other guys out the focus is on us.

“However we’re only interested in ourselves and the job we have to do – and that’s to win the tournament. Nothing else will do.”

You can watch the semifinal between Brazil and the Netherlands live on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up and start watching for free!

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