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

Eight qualification teams from seven countries advance to Moscow main draw

Brittany Hochevar (right) and Lisa Rutledge from USA defeated qualification top seeds Sara Montagnolli and Barbara Hansel (AUT)
Moscow, Russia, July 12, 2011 – Teams from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, USA and two Dutch teams advanced from the qualification tournament to the main draw of the 2011 FIVB Swatch Moscow Grand Slam on Tuesday.

Teams from China and Italy were added Tuesday evening as lucky losers, since last year’s silver medallists Jennifer Kessy/April Ross from USA and the Greek team Vasiliki Arvaniti/Maria Tsiartsiana withdrew from the main draw.

The big upset on center court at Poklonnaya Gora (Victory Park) in the Russian capital was the defeat of qualification top seeds Sara Montagnolli and Barbara Hansel. The Austrian team got a bye in the first qualification round, but lost 21-18 21-14 in only 32 minutes to America’s Brittany Hochevar and Lisa Rudledge (seeded 17th) in the second and final round.

Unfortunately on a national day of mourning in Russia for the victims of the cruise ship accident on the nearby river Volga, none of the Russian qualification teams made it to the main draw. Ksenia Dabizha/Olga Sorokina exited in the first round after losing to Canada's Marie-Andrée Lessard/Annie Martin 21-11, 21-14). Alexandra Shiryaeva/Ekaterina Syrtseva won their first game (21-14 21-16) to Mexico’s Bibiana Candelas/Mayra Garcia), but were eliminated in the second qualification round by Dutch girls Roos van der Hoeven/Jantine van der Vlist (21-18 21-15). That leaves Russia with just three main draw teams.

Brazil’s Liliane Maestrini/Angela Vieira survived two qualification rounds after winning two in the country quota on Monday. They beat Japan’s Takemi Nishibori/Satoko Urata (21-14 21-13) and China’s Ying Huang/Yuan Yue (21-18 15-21 15-11). Lili (23) and Vieira (30) only started playing together this season, their best finish so far being ninth place in Myslowice. “We are just starting to know each other. Learning how to play together,” Lili said. “Today was a good learning process, but tough, already having played two matches in the country quota yesterday and now two more. But we will get a good rest and start again tomorrow.”

The second seeded Nystrom-sisters, Erika and Emilia, from Finland also made it to the main draw. As did third seeded Dutch team Madelein Meppelink/Marloes Wesselink, Belgium’s Katrien Gielen/Liesbeth Mouha, Germany’s Karla Borger/Britta Büthe and Canada’s Heather Bansley/Elizabeth Maloney. Huang/Yue from China and Italy's Daniela Gioria/Giulia Momoli were added as lucky losers.

In the main draw a total of 32 teams will compete in eight pools of each four teams, playing a round robin on Wednesday and Thursday. The first three of each pool will advance to the knockout rounds, pool winners earn a bye in the first round. The semi-finals and medal matches are played on Saturday.

Chen Xue and Xi Zhang will be defending their 2010 Moscow title (their second after 2008) in the main draw. The Chinese defeated Kessy/Ross in the final. Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca from Brazil won the bronze medal with a victory over their compatriots Maria Antonelli/Talita Antunes.

The winners of the 2011 Moscow Grand Slam will split $43,500, while the silver team earns $29,500 and the bronze $23,000. The Moscow Grand Slam is the fourth of six grand slams on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2011.

After visiting the Russian capital the Tour will continue with a double gender tournament next week in Canada, where Quebec is hosting its first World Tour event ever.   
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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