Tiago Pires: he loves Fiji

Surprises and upsets marked the Round 2 of the Fiji Pro 2014, held in in three-to-five foot (1 - 1.5 metre) surf, at Cloudbreak.

Tiago Pires eliminated CJ Hobgood, one of the most consistent performers in Fijian waters. The Portuguese showed effective backside skills and left the American chasing a wave that never came.

"C.J. (Hobgood) is one of the best surfers out there and I knew it was going to be a tough heat. I was a bit stressed at the beginning of the heat but after I got that seven I felt more confident. I was really disappointed after my heat yesterday, it was one of my lowest scores in ASP history, but I kept my nerve and I knew I had something to show," says Pires.

Mick Fanning recovered from his Round 1 disaster by defeating wildcard Wiggolly Dantas, with sharp turns and carves and difficult tube rides. In Round 3, he dispatched Alejo Muniz.

"I'd love to win this event. Kelly has had a strangle hold on it for a long time. There are so many great surfers out here that are so good, so a lot can happen," tells Fanning.

Michel Bourez keeps playing at the highest level. In Round, the Tahitian posted a 9.50 and a 9.20 to eliminate Jeremy Flores, who broke a board in his first wave.

"It was very, very positive for me to be out there and get barrelled. I'm not going to quit and I'm not going to give up. I feel like it's everyone's chance to win. You just have to stay positive and stick with your game," adds Bourez.

Kelly Slater dominated his Round 3 heat against Mitch Coleborn, with a deep tube to earn a 5.33. The Floridian then backed up his opener with a solid 8.50 courtesy of a long Cloudbreak barrel.

Fiji Pro Round 3 Results

Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.07 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 8.44
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 16.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.20
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 18.70 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.57
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.43
Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.16 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.93
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.33 def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 9.43

Upcoming Round 3 Match-ups

Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Sebastian Zeitz (HAW)
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)