Adriano de Souza: defending leadership | Photo: Cestari/WSL

Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina and Mick Fanning will compete against each other in Round 4 of the J-Bay Open 2015, at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

Three world champions in a heat. One of them will secure a ticket to the quarterfinals when competition resumes at the iconic pointbreak. And Adriano de Souza is the only top 3 surfer still in the event.

Medina returned to the grand performances. The 2014 ASP World Tour champion posted the highest heat total of Round 3 (19.07 points) and defeated Matt Wilkinson with a backside air, and critical snaps.

"That was a pretty fun heat. I got a lot of waves. The year has been pretty tough for me, and it feels good to make this Round 3. Now it's a no-loser round, so it's more relaxed. You can choose your waves and do your thing. I just want to keep going and keep the ball rolling," said Gabriel Medina.

The Men's rankings leader Adriano de Souza managed to defeat (eternal) wildcard Dane Reynolds. The Brazilian seems fit to defend the leadership.

"Every day is different and you have to prepare yourself for any kind of conditions. I'm happy to move forward, and I'm really hungry for this contest. I'm really prepared for J-Bay, I came 10 days early and worked so hard. The results right now are going good, and it's showing me that I have to keep it going, keep rolling and keep my strategy," underlined De Souza.

Mick Fanning (AUS) showed exceptional speed and power, put CJ Hobgood in a combination situation, and won the heat with a comfortable margin over the American surfer.

"I knew I had to put it all together and I got a couple of 8's which settled the nerves a little. But still, CJ, he's a world champion, he's a hero of mine and he never gives up. That's what I love about him. I still had to keep my head on the whole way through," added Fanning.

Kelly Slater, the most successful surfer at Jeffreys Bay, used his experience and wave knowledge to deliver smooth, powerful surfing and eliminate Kolohe Andino. Is Slater back on track?

"J-Bay is one of those waves you grow up wishing you could surf. I just have great memories here, and it's a really fun place. This morning was tough, that first heat with Parko and Wiggolly (Dantas), I would have been scared to be in that heat," concluded Kelly.

J-Bay Open 2015 | Round 4 Match-Ups:

Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Nat Young (USA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Mick Fanning (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Keanu Asing (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Alejo Muniz (BRA)

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