FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Fuzhou Open 2016 | 19 - 24 avril 2016


Press release

Walsh/Ross on top sweeping Fuzhou Open gold

USA's April Ross (left) and Kerri Walsh produce a true gold medal performance to win the 2016 Fuzhou Open

 Fuzhou, China, April 24, 2016 – USA’s Kerri Walsh and April Ross pulled out their performance of the tournament to beat Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) to win gold at the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Fuzhou Open.

Laboureur/Sude knew they would have to bring their best if they wanted to come within reach of the gold. The two teams had played each other twice in the past two weeks, Walsh/Ross winning both times, firstly the bronze medal match at the Xiamen Open and again in Fuzhou Open pool play.

The German pair quickly found themselves 6-2 down in the first, a lead that Walsh/Ross would hold throughout the set. The USA displayed some incredible saves and their ability to pull back into play seemingly impossible balls gave Laboureur/Sude a challenging time.

Germany held their own with Laboureur snatching points rolling the ball over the net out of reach, but on every occasion the USA pair were solid in their comeback.

USA’s Kerri Walsh and April Ross

The second set witnessed some impressive rallies with the score tighter in the early stages, but again Walsh/Ross recovered every ball, Ross successfully smashing from way outside the side line to make 14-12. It was a performance for Laboureur/Sude that any team would be proud of, but Walsh/Ross were just outstanding to greatly deserve the gold, 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).  

“It just feels so good to execute and we always want to win and sometimes we get caught up in winning so we don’t do the little things but today it was so fun, April played amazing defence. To win gold medals you need to play great defence and that’s what April did today,” said Walsh.

“We started this tournament really rough, it took us a long time to get into a rhythm and I’m just so proud how we hung together and we battled and we got better every match and this is the best we played I think in two weeks so it was awesome,” said Ross.

Ross/Walsh leave China with a bronze medal from the Xiamen Open and now a gold from Fuzhou. The team has been on the podium at every tournament they have played this year, taking gold at the Rio Grand Slam and silver at the Vitoria Open.

“It means we’re improving, that’s the bottom line, that’s all we want to do every single weekend. It’s so important for us to play these teams because to win a gold medal in Rio you have to get there to the gold medal match and all these teams are going to be in our way. We’re learning, we’re working with them, we’re letting them elevate our play, but it feels really good,” said Walsh.

It is the second year in a row that Laboureur/Sude have taken the silver medal at the Fuzhou Open and the first time the German pair have won an FIVB medal this season.

Chantal Laboureur from Germany

“Of course we are disappointed because it the final Kerri and April played very good. We couldn’t follow the tactics, they put a lot of pressure on us and we made some mistakes, but I think already now we are very happy to reach another final here in Fuzhou,” said Sude.

“It was not so easy today for us to play them, they had some really good savings, they fought for every ball and in the end they made all the balls and had more rallies and it was not easy to break them today. But as Julia said we are happy about our silver,” said Laboureur.

Bronze medal for Heidrich/Zumkehr

The bronze medal was awarded to Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr from Switzerland after fellow Swiss team Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Vergé-Dépré were forced to withdraw due to Vergé-Dépré injury. The last time the two teams played was in the Xiamen Open 2015 when Heidrich/Zumkehr beat Forrer/Vergé-Dépré in the semifinals, but the two Swiss teams will have to wait until they next meet to see the outcome in 2016. A disappointing forfeit for Forrer/Vergé-Dépré, who won gold at the Xiamen Open just one week earlier.

Heidrich/Zumkehr were given a hard time in their morning semifinal when Laboureur/Sude grew in confidence as the match progressed. The Swiss pair could not find their rhythm as Laboureur/Sude began to run away with the match in the second set to win 2-0 (21-17, 21-7).

Switzerland’s Nadine Zumkehr

The bronze for Heidrich/Zumkehr is their first of the year and the first time they have been on the FIVB podium since they won gold at the 2015 Xiamen Open.  

“For sure it’s not the nicest way to win a medal with an injury, we would have loved to play the bronze medal game but that’s the situation. I think the bronze medal is still really nice because although we didn’t play a good semifinal today, we played a great tournament and that’s what we take a bronze medal as an award for,” said Zumkehr.

Forrer/Vergé-Dépré had played USA’s Walsh/Ross in a fierce morning semifinal. The Swiss pair came out strongly giving the USA pair a run around in the first set with the help of Forrer’s impressive power. But the USA again used their great adaptability to take control of the second set to win 2-0 (22-20, 21-12).

The FIVB World Tour continues with the Fortaleza Open, Brazil from April 26 - May 1, 2016.

Quick links
•    Fuzhou Open - Women

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

24.04.2016 12:41:06
Walsh/Ross on top sweeping Fuzhou Open gold

Fuzhou, China, April 24, 2016 – USA’s Kerri Walsh and April Ross pulled out their performance of the tournament to beat Germany’s Chantal Labour... More...

23.04.2016 13:25:56
Gold for USA’s Dalhausser/Lucena at 2016 Fuzhou Open

Fuzhou, China, April 23, 2016 – USA’s Philip Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena are back on top, taking gold under wet conditions for their final agai... More...

23.04.2016 12:09:36
Switzerland’s Heidrich/Zumkehr & Forrer/Vergé-Dépré into Fuzhou Open semifinals

Fuzhou, China, April 23, 2016 – Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr enter their first semifinal of the season after a hard fought win ... More...

22.04.2016 13:30:30
Xiamen repeat for Herrera & Gavira to enter Fuzhou Open semis

22.04.2016 12:20:11
Three USA teams top pool in Fuzhou

22.04.2016 09:03:31
Watch the action from the Fuzhou Open

22.04.2016 07:33:17
Walsh Jennings nets 600th international match win

21.04.2016 11:26:33
Italy’s Menegatti/Orsi Toth get ahead at Fuzhou Open

21.04.2016 10:04:49
Schalk & Saxton keep a clean sheet at Fuzhou Open

20.04.2016 11:31:40
Turkey's Giginoglu & Gogtepe on track at Fuzhou Open

20.04.2016 10:26:40
Fuzhou Open Swiss teams topple opponents

20.04.2016 05:09:37
Serbia work to break through on FIVB World Tour

19.04.2016 11:54:34
Walsh/Ross ready for action at Fuzhou Open

19.04.2016 09:57:18
Kunert/Dressler stand firm to enter Fuzhou Open main draw

18.04.2016 17:22:36
Russians Road to Rio

18.04.2016 15:24:04
Xiamen bronze helps Ontiveros & Virgen in Olympic race

18.04.2016 13:37:31
Herrera and Gavira aim to continue China success at Fuzhou Open

18.04.2016 05:13:55
FIVB World Tour remains in China for $150,000 FIVB Fuzhou Open

18.04.2016 02:24:27
2016 FIVB World Tour update after FIVB Xiamen Open in China

11.11.2015 13:11:48
Beach volleyball prepares for bumper season after 2015/2016 calendar unveiled