Women's competition, Gstaad
From 15 June To 19 June 2004

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Brazil & United States Earn First Two "Final Four" Berths
GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, June 18, 2004 - The top two-seeded women's teams in the 1to1 Energy Open were the first two tandems to earn a spot in Saturday's "final four" as the Brazilian and American Beach Volleyball pairs won two matches each here Friday.

Playing against rivals from their country in the fourth-round of the winner's bracket, top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh of the United States and second-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil continued their streak of SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" appearances.

After May and Walsh scored a 21-18 and 21-16 over American rivals Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs in 37 minutes, Adriana and Shelda posted a 21-18, 19-21 and 18-16 win in 65 minutes over third-seeded Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires in an All-Brazilian match.

Playing in their 30th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event, May and Walsh have now advanced to 16-straight international "final fours" since placing ninth at the 2002 Greece stop. May and Walsh, who now have a 16-2 mark against McPeak and Youngs with 13-straight wins, will be competing in their 25th international "final four"

Winners of their last six international starts, including the FIVB World Championships last October in Rio de Janeiro, May and Walsh have now won 44-straight matches on the SWATCH-FIVB tour. The last time May and Walsh dropped a match was last July 5 when Ana Paula and Pires scored a 21-19 and 21-15 win over the Americans in the finals of the Norwegian Open in Stavanger.

"We played well against a great team," said Walsh, who has teamed with May to win the last two gold medals in this Swiss community. "We were very anxious to play this week after missing last week's domestic event due to Misty's injury. They took advantage of some of our early mistakes in each set to gain the advantage, but we were able to side out and score some points to get back into each set."

For Adriana and Shelda, the "final four" berth is their 77th in 84 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events together. The Brazilians captured their 30th international crowd two weeks ago in Japan after May/Walsh partnership won the first two events in Brazil and Greece, and McPeak and Youngs won the gold medal in China.

"That was a close one," said a drained Adriana after their fifth match against Ana Paula and Pires since the start of the 2003 season. "We have now beaten them twice this season losing to them three times last year. All the matches have been close and we are learning how to play them. I'm tired and glad that we don't have to play another match."

The No. 1-ranked team on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour last season, Ana Paula and Pires are playing their first match internationally since the 2004 season opener in Brazil where they finished fifth after being eliminated by Adriana and Shelda.

"We had our chances to win that final set against Adriana and Shelda," said Pires, a two-time Olympic Beach Volleyball medallist. "Our effort is good, but we still are making mistakes at the end of matches to allow our rivals to win. We still have another chance to reach the semi-finals."

The women's Main Draw concludes Saturday afternoon when the final two teams compete for the $27,000 first-place prize. The 1to1 Energy Open is the fifth women's event on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour after opening stops in Brazil, Greece, China and Japan.