Esteban and Marco celebrate a point in their victory against the Capogrosso brothers

Reserved for the lucky losers round, the fifth day of the Beach Volleyball World Championships Rome 2022 was highlighted by an exciting duel between two of the top men’s teams from South America, which saw Chilean Marco and Esteban Grimalt advance to the Round of 32.

· Watch all matches at the Rome 2022 World Championships live on Volleyball.tv.

The Chilean cousins were faced with one of the teams they’re more familiar with in international beach volleyball, Argentinean brothers Nicolas and Tomas Capogrosso, and came out on top of the three-set (21-18, 15-21, 15-11) battle that took place at the centre court of the Foro Italico on Tuesday.

The defender of the team, the 31-year-old Esteban came up big for the Chilean team, hitting several balls on two to produce 21 kills during the match. He also fired an ace between the two Argentineans in a key moment in the tie-breaker, giving his team a 5-2 lead. Marco produced 16 kills and added four blocks to help lift his team to victory.

“It was a really difficult match,” Esteban reflected after the match. “We’re really good friends with the Argentineans and it was frustrating that we had to play each other now. I wish both teams could have moved forward. We started really well, but couldn’t keep the same intensity in the second set and they came back. But we were able to remain calm and start the tie-breaker on a good rhythm again.”


Marco challenges Nicolas Capogrosso's block

Playing in their fifth-straight edition of the World Championships, the Grimalts will now face Italians Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi in the Round of 32, on Wednesday. Another win will secure the Chileans their best-ever result in the event, surpassing the 17th-place finishes they achieved in 2015 and 2017.

Partners since 2011, the two-time Olympian Chileans lost their first pool play match in Rome, but have found their best rhythm since then, winning two of their next three matches.

“We’re very confident now,” Esteban added. “We had a really difficult start at the World Championship, but have improved in every match since then. We are on a better rhythm now and we hope we can show that again in the Round of 32 so we can keep moving forward.”

Three other teams also survived Tuesday’s lucky losers round and joined the other 28 that had advanced directly to the Round of 32 at the conclusion of pool play. Among them were French pair Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat, who came from behind to top Thais Surin Jongklang and Banlue Nakprakhong in a hard-fought three-setter (19-21, 22-20, 16-14).


Gauthier-Rat and Krou pose after their dramatic victory against a team from Thailand

Austrians Alexander Huber and Christoph Dressler also needed all three sets (21-15, 14-21, 15-13) to defeat Italians Davide Benzi and Carlo Bonifazi and move forward. Canadians Sam Schachter and Dan Dearing claimed the fourth and final spot by securing the only two-set (21-17, 21-16) victory of the day, against Mexicans Juan Virgen and Miguel Sarabia.

Wednesday’s schedule will feature all 16 matches of the Round 32 with the Round of 16 matchups to follow on Thursday.