Shanghai, China, May 6, 2011 – Seventh seeds Marleen Van Iersel and Sanne Keizer from the Netherlands upset second seeds and home favorites Xue Chen/Zhang Xi in three sets Friday morning for their third straight win in the women’s Main Draw of the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Shanghai Jinshan Open.
Brazil’s third seeds Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes, fifth seeded Stefanie Schwaiger/Doris Schwaiger of Austria and American qualifiers Brooke Hanson/Lauren Fendrick also remained unbeaten in the double elimination tournament after Friday’s action.
Dropping the first set 21-12 against Xue/Zhang, silver medallists of the Sanya Open last week, Van Iersel and Keizer fought back to pull one set back at 27-25. In the tiebreaker, the Dutch duo beat off two match points before running off three points in a row to seal the victory at 17-15.
“We are very excited to win, it’s a very tough match,” said Van Iersel after the 54-minute battle. “We were not very good in the first set, so we have to work more in the second. We just kept fighting, fighting until the end, fighting for every point when we were behind. We just believed we could win this game.”
Boosted by the come-from-behind victory, Keizer eyed a podium finish in the star-studded Shanghai Open. “We hope so (to win a medal). After this win, we think anything is possible.” Before qualifying for the final the Dutch duo have to face Antonelli/Talita in a fourth round clash of the winners’ bracket on Saturday morning.
Hanson/Fendrick, the surprise winners over Brazilian top seeds Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca on Thursday, went on to sweep Chinese ninth seeds Huang Ying/Yue Yuan 21-18 and 21-15 for their fifth consecutive triumph connecting the qualification tournament and the Main Draw.
The American tandem will meet Austrian sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger on Saturday morning to vie for a ticket to the women’s semifinals.
Juliana/Larissa, who had claimed back-to-back championships in Brazil and Sanya, kept alive their title hopes with three victories in the lower bracket on Friday and other teams staying in contention with one defeat each include Chinese Xue/Zhang (2nd), April Ross and Jennifer Kessy (6th) of the United States and Italy’s Marta Menegatti/Greta Cicolari (18th).
The women’s Main Draw tournament of the US$380,000 Shanghai Open will continue on Saturday, which is also when the men’s semifinals and medal matches take place. The gold medal teams will split US$30,000, the silver US$21,000 and the bronze US$15,000.
This tournament is the second of 12 double-gender events on the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, which also includes three single-gender events for women, two single-gender events for men and a special 24-team Olympic test event in London August 9-14.