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Moscow Grand Slam | Women
  11/07/2011 - 16/07/2011

Ross targeting gold medal success in Moscow

April Ross (left) is hoping to go one better than her and Jen Kessy's silver medal at last year's Moscow Grand Slam when the event begins on Monday
Moscow, Russia, July 6, 2011 – USA FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour star April Ross has said she and partner Jen Kessy are targeting gold at the Moscow Grand Slam which is set to begin on Monday.

The American duo were competing at the Gstaad Grand Slam in Switzerland but lost to Dutch pair Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel in the second round to finish ninth. However Ross is hoping for a better outing when they arrive in the Russian city next week and go one better than their silver medal performance last year.

“I think we have been to the tournament every year since Moscow began hosting it and it's gotten bigger and better each year,” she said. “It is a prestigious tournament and we would love to win the gold there.

“I do like the Moscow Grand Slam. I think it is a very well-run tournament in a very cool location. The crowd that comes is great and cheer loud, which is always fun for the players. We have been to Red Square and seen a little bit of the city, but we'd rather be playing in the tournament the whole week and not have time to sight-see!”

However the star, who was recently named a FIVB Hero in a new PR campaign, was coy on who she thinks will be the biggest challengers in Russia.

“The main favorites in the Moscow Grand Slam have to be everyone who has done well this season so far,” she added. “The field is very strong so everyone is capable of doing well and it makes for very exciting matches for the fans. The Russian teams have played better each tournament so it could be a good one for them too.”

Ross/Kessy currently sit on top of the World Tour rankings above recently crowned world champions Juliana and Larissa of Brazil. But the duo are aware that they are just halfway through the season and still have a lot of work to do.

“My impression of the first half of season is that everyone on the World Tour has improved over the off season and is very good. Jen and I are happy with our performance for the first half and hope to continue to do as well or better in the second half of the season, of course we are always trying to win gold.”

Gold was the result they hoped for at the World Championships in Rome last month, but unfortunately for them, it didn't work out as they finished fifth. Although the tandem were looking towards the event as the main event of the season, she blamed fatigue and bad preparation for her and Kessy not doing as well as they would have liked.

“With the short amount of time between the bronze medal match in the Beijing Grand Slam and the World Championships we weren't as fresh as we would have liked to be. But fifth is a good finish in World Championships and now that it is over we are definitely focused on the Grand Slams.”

The Moscow Grand Slam is set to take place from July 11 to 17 and is the fourth year in a row the Tour will visit the city. China's Chen Xue and Xi Zhang have won two events in 2008 and 2010 while Juliana and Larissa won in 2009.
More press releases
18/07/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour updated leaders through July 17, 2011
16/07/2011 May-Treanor and Walsh win 2011 Moscow Grand Slam
15/07/2011 Top four seeds play semifinals Moscow Grand Slam
14/07/2011 Lucky losers Huang/Yue pool winners in Moscow Grand Slam
13/07/2011 Eleven teams still undefeated in women’s Moscow Grand Slam
12/07/2011 Eight qualification teams from seven countries advance to Moscow main draw
11/07/2011 Women's Country Quota matches begin Moscow Grand Slam
10/07/2011 Evgenia Ukolova counts on home advantage in Moscow
8/07/2011 Ross targeting gold medal success in Moscow
7/07/2011 Chinese teams to defend their title in Moscow Grand Slam
1/07/2011 Moscow ready for Grand Slam
27/01/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar finalised