Sat, November 15, 2008
Sports > Tennis & Golf

Benjamin/Harley win all-Brazilian final at China Sanya Open

2008-11-15 10:47:21 GMT2008-11-15 18:47:21 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SANYA, South China, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Top seeds Benjamin Infra/Harley Marques beat fifth seeds Roberta Pitta/Pedro Cunha in straight sets in the 58th SWATCH FIVB World Tour all- Brazilian final here Saturday afternoon to win the men's gold medal of the 350,000-U.S. dollar China Sanya Open.

With the 21-17 and 21-19 victory in 49 minutes, Benjamin and Harley took a sweet revenge for their 21-19 and 22-20 quarter-final loss to Pitta/Cunha and shared the $28,000 first-place prize at the 20th and last men's stops on the 2008 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar.

"We had better concentration this time and the experience also helped us win through," said Harley.

It marked the seventh title of the season for Harley, who had secured the 2008 overall championship with Pedro Salgado after winning six events together including the Shanghai Jinshan Open in May.

"It's so nice to win seven titles. The season is very long and it's not easy to win seven," Harley added. "I can't be happier."

The 21-year-old Pitta, who splits the $19,500 second-place prize with Cunha, could be satisfied with a silver finish in just his second SWATCH World Tour tournament.

"It's only my second World Tour tournament. I am still not used to this," said Pitta at the post-match press conference. "I am very happy with the result. I will not play with Cunha next season, but this experience is really good."

Down by one set and trailing 9-5 in the second, Pitta and Cunha fought bravely to pull within 19-18, forcing a time-out of Benjamin and Harley.

After the game resumed, Pitta served the ball into the net to make it 20-18. Though he came back on the next play to help cut it to 20-19 with a smart long dink, Benjamin and Harley converted on their second championship point as Harley smashed the ball in.

Saturday's gold medal was Harley's 13th and Benjamin's ninth SWATCH FIVB World Tour title and their second together following a triumph in the Canada Open in 2005. It also featured 148th championship claimed by a Brazilian team since the start of the international Beach Volleyball tour in 1987as the China Sanya Open2008 was the 229th event in the 22-year history of the circuit.

Earlier on Saturday, sixth-seeded Mariano Baracetti/Jose Salema of Argentina beat home players Xu Linyin/Li Jialu 21-12 and 21-17 for the bronze medal. It marked the best result of this season for the Argentines with Salema also receiving the honor of the Most Outstanding Player for this event.

The season-ending SWATCH FIVB World Tour stop is also the finaldouble-gender event as the women's semi-finals and podium placement matches scheduled for Sunday at the beautiful Sanya Bay center court.

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