We take a closer look at the five tournaments that rocked the 2017 season!
The Swatch Major Series 2017 season is over – but the memories remain. The Swatch Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 still flicker brightly in our consciousness. The five tournaments of sensational beach volleyball will live with us during the winter months, keeping us warm as we look forward to an epic 2018.
Players became heroes and history was made, packed crowds roared on their idols – whether it be in scorching 40-degree heat or under the floodlights in some of the most breathtaking locations ever to host the beautiful game.
However, there’s more to beach volleyball than meets the eye – sometimes it’s easy to forget that our athletes, our stars, are some of the most talented sports men and women in the world. So, as we look back on the season that was, we give you 10 of the most interesting stats from 2017. Enjoy!
- It’s a numbers game. Ok, three Majors, one World Champs and one World Tour Final. That’s 480 matches, of which 306 were settled in straight sets and 174 that went to a tie-break. A jaw-dropping 25,124 attacks and 41,004 rallies. Just as well we keep count, huh? Fist bumps all round to our stats guys. Nice one.
- Women are ace. Hey, did you know women served more aces across the five tournaments than men? Well if you did know that, well done. If you didn’t, now you know… Of the total of 2,445 aces, 1,424 were recorded by the girls, compared to just 1,021 by the guys.
- Vienna is also, erm, ace. On the subject of aces, the World Champs was also the event to witness the most of them. There were 1,194 service winners on the Danube Island at an average of 5.52 per match – a better average than at any of the other four tournaments.
- Evandro’s slam dunk. The king of the serve, Brazilian World Champ Evandro Goncalves will be in the nightmares of Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst after the final in Vienna. He served up a series of aces as he and partner Andre Loyola stormed to gold. He thundered down 42 aces in Vienna from 222 serves, giving him an awesome serve-to-ace ratio of 18.92 – better than any other player.
- Doppler rises to the occasion. At the World Championships, we had the experts at Kinexon keeping track of the players’ every move on court. Austria’s home hero Clemens Doppler jumped, attacked and blocked more than any other male player on his way to winning silver. He registered more jumps (132), jump attacks (45) and jump blocks (53) – way above the average of all of the other players. Nice one, Clemens.
- Tower of Power. Talking of blocks, Canada’s Sarah Pavan is not to be messed with at the net. On her way to a fourth place finish with Melissa Humana-Paredes, the 31-year-old registered 58 jump blocks in Vienna – not bad when you consider the average of all women players was 19.7. Again, thanks to the guys and girls at Kinexon for this nugget of info.
- Keeping up appearances. No team played more sets than Italians Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai and Brazil’s Evandro and Andre, with both teams taking part in 56 sets across five tournaments. The women’s team that played the most sets? The legendary pair from Brazil, Larissa and Talita with 55. If you think a set lasts roughly 30 minutes that’s 1,680 minutes –that’s 28 hours on court!
- Age is but a number. We had our youngest ever World Champ, Andre Loyala, crowned at just 22 in Vienna, while in Gstaad and Hamburg, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena showed that experience counts, winning gold at the ripe old age of 37. Care to take a guess of average age of all the gold medalists across the five tournaments? No? Okay, we’ll tell you – it’s 29.
- Brazil are number one. The South American powerhouses walked off with more medals than anyone across the five tournaments with a not-so-unlucky 13. Men’s teams won seven, women’s took home six. Of the 13, four were gold, five were silver and four were bronze. The next best nation? A tie between Germany and the USA with four medals apiece.
- When it matters most... The most shocking fact of the season is perhaps that Olympic champs Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst played just five tournaments together in 2017. The team were not competing in Fort Lauderdale, Poreč or Gstaad…but when they returned boy did they make it count. A World Champs title in Vienna was then made even sweeter when they retained their World Tour Finals crown on home sand in Hamburg.