Shanghai, China, May 2, 2012 – Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen reached the main draw stage of a Grand Slam event for the first time ever, at the Shanghai Grand Slam presented by Jinshan Xinchen.
Previously the best result the pair had achieved was 17th at the Open tournaments in The Hague and Agadir in 2011, but wins over Sam Boehm and Isaac Kapa from Australia and New Zealand’s Jason Lochhead and Kirk Pitman means they go into the main draw which begins on May 3.
“They were two tough games that we had today, but we pulled it together and we are really happy to be in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time,” Brouwer said.
“This is our second season and we started in the winter of 2010, but Robert had a bad knee injury. He’s recovered from that now and we are booming and going on.”
Brouwer and Meeuwsen are the latest pairing to come through the Dutch system and they are one of four Dutch men’s teams in the main draw.
“We had a lot of good practices this last winter and we have a great set-up in The Hague,” Brouwer continued.
“Even in winter we have a great set-up for getting better and better and of course we are all young, except for (Reinder) Nummerdor and (Richard) Schuil of course, but they teach us how to play beach volleyball.”
Another pair going through to the main draw are the USA’s John Mayer and Brad Keenan.
The duo beat the Ces brothers, Andy and Kevin 21-18, 21-19 then rallied to come back from a set down and beat Australia’s Joshua Slack and Christopher McHugh.
“Fortunately my partner took control,” Mayer said. “I was already contemplating when to pack my bags because we were in trouble, but he took over completely.
“It’s really good, especially a Grand Slam like this because the field is so good. It was a class field and good to come through it.”
In total eight teams went through to the main draw.
The 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour is scheduled over a seven month period and features 12 tournaments for both men and women. For the men the season starts in April in Brasilia and ends in October in Morocco.
The US$600,000 Shanghai Grand Slam is the second of nine double gender events and the winning pair share a $43,500 purse.
It is the ninth straight year in which Shanghai has hosted an FIVB SWATCH World Tour event and the men’s final takes place on 6 May.
Following the completion of the Shanghai Grand Slam the World Tour moves onto to China’s capital for the Beijing Grand Slam from 8-13 May.