13.03.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl played in four World Tour gold medal matches over the last two years, including at the Vienna Major and the World Tour Finals in Hamburg, both in 2018. In all of them, they had to settle with silver.
The Olympic year of 2020 started differently for the Polish duo, though, as they finally felt the taste of standing at the top of the podium together after their victory at this week’s four-star men-only tournament in Doha, Qatar.
The Europeans were the last team standing on the way of the sensations of the tournament in Doha, Mexicans Josue Gaxiola and Jose Rubio, who started in qualification and won six of their eight matches in the event, eliminating the likes of Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich/Mirco Gerson, USA’s Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb, Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Brazil’s Evandro Goncalves/Bruno Schmidt.
The young Mexicans showed the game that carried them all the way to the final in the first set, upsetting the Polish with a 21-16 victory, but Fijalek and Bryl regained the best form from the second set on and secured their first medal as a team by winning the next two sets 21-19, 15-11.
“We started the match very nervous,” the 32-year-old Fijalek reacted. “They are a very good team, they’re both young, their blocking game is great and they played at a very high level all week. It’s our first gold medal as a team and that means a lot for us. I hope we can keep this same level during the entire season, which is going to be a very important one.”
Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai finished third in Doha as they defeated Bruno and Evandro in straight sets (21-19, 21-17) in the bronze medal match.