Beijing, China, June 6, 2011 — Casey Patterson and Bradley Keenan of the United States advanced to Tuesday’s men’s qualification tournament after beating compatriots Casey Jennings and Kevin Wong in a country-quota playoff as the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Beijing Grand Slam started here on Monday.
With the 21-19 and 23-21 victory in 36 minutes, Patterson/Keenan gained sweet revenge for their loss to Jennings/Wong in the Shanghai Open last month.
“It’s a tough match and it’s great to win; last time we played against them we lost,” said Keenan after the only men’s country-quota match. “All the good teams are here and tomorrow is going to be a tough day, hopefully we can get into the Main Draw.”
More than 110 tandems from 37 countries and regions are expected to take part in the $600,000 double-gender event, with the Chinese capital welcoming back international beach volleyball for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games.
Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers and Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor of the United States will lead the field at Chaoyang Park as Beijing hosts the first FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Grand Slam of the year from June 6-11.
Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers, who were crowned three years ago in Beijing, will seek their third title of the season following a runner-up finish two weeks ago in the Czech Republic. Having captured back-to-back championships in Brasilia and Shanghai, the American giants lost to Brazil’s Alison and Emanuel in the final of the men's single-gender Prague Open.
The inaugural Beijing Grand Slam is the third 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.