Vienna, Austria, July 29, 2017 – It seems like Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira have been together forever. The Spanish team, which debuted in the FIVB World Tour back in 2009, started its campaign in the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Vienna presented by A1 with a 2-0 center-court win over Austrian Martin Ermacora and Moritz Pristauz on Friday night.
Herrera and Gavira form the most long-lasting team competing in Vienna with 468 FIVB matches under their belts over nine seasons and are playing their 108th tournament as a team, with 21 podium placements achieved. In a sport where players usually change their partners constantly over the years, the Spaniard tandem is definitely a rare exception to the rule.
“It requires a lot of confidence in each other,” said Herrera, a four-time Olympian and a silver medalist in Athens 2004. “And also a lot of respect both as a partner and as a friend, because that’s what we are after so many years. We’ve managed to keep a very good relationship over the years and that is the key for our longevity as a team.”
As many teams competing in the World Championships were formed after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the European champions of 2013 rely on their chemistry to achieve a positive result in Vienna.
“We know each other very well, inside and outside the court and that certainly helps,” Herrera added. “Being together for a while it’s an advantage but every year it’s getting harder to play against the young and tall players that we face in the tournaments.”
Herrera, 35, and Gavira, 29, return to action in Austria on Sunday, when they take on Indonesia’s Mohammad Ashfiya and Ade Rachmawan at 12.00 (local time).