Shanghai, China, 1 May, 2012 – Austrian sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger dug deep to win their two qualification matches and progress to the main draw at the Shanghai Grand Slam presented by Jinshan Xinchen.
In the morning they defeated Mauritius’ Natacha Rigobert and Elodie Li Yuk Lo 21-19, 21-14, and then returned in the afternoon to guarantee their passage to the main draw with a defeat of Canada’s Marie Andree Lessard and Annie Martin.
It was a tough match for the sisters though and they needed to fight back after losing the first set to win 27-29, 21-19, 15-6.
“In the first set we had so many points and we had so many chances to capitalize on the points, but we couldn’t,” Stephanie said.
“Then it was one point after another and eventually it was 20-17 in the first set. We came back to 20-20, but they served well and won the set. But we came back in the other sets and are very happy that we qualified.”
So far in 2012 they have competed in one FIVB SWATCH World Tour event. The sisters finished ninth at the Olympic Bay Sanya Open.
Shanghai holds happy memories for the Austrian duo though. In 2011 they took home the bronze medal, their best result of the year and are hopeful they can show their best once again at the Jinshan Beach Arena.
“We always aim for a similar result and we know we can play very well,” Doris added, “but we have to hold our nerve.
“We don’t need to put too much pressure on ourselves because we know what we can do and after this game I think we have overcome all our nerves.”
Also through to the main draw are Italian pair Giulia Momoli and Daniela Gioria.
They beat compatriots Laura Giombini and Viktoria Orsi Toth 21-15, 21-17 in their first match, and then saw off Britain’s Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin 21-19, 21-16.
“It is the second time that we have won in qualification and it is good for us because in a Grand Slam there is a pool play and every point is important,” Momoli said.
“Our goal is the Olympic Games, so we want to get the best result that we can and so we will play our best to do the best we can.”
In total eight teams made it through to the main draw including Brazil’s Maria Clara and Raquel, which means the South American powerhouse will have a total of four teams in the main draw.
The 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour runs over a seven month period and features 12 tournaments for both men and women. For the women the season stars in April in Brazil and ends in October in Thailand.
The US$600,000 Shanghai Grand Slam is the second of nine double gender events and the winners share a $43,500 purse.
It is the eighth straight year in which Shanghai has hosted a women’s FIVB SWATCH World Tour event and the final takes place on 5 May.
Following the completion of the Shanghai Grand Slam the World Tour moves onto to China’s capital for the Beijing Grand Slam from 7-12 May.