Akers and Hochevar into qualifying rounds after winning USA country quota
The duo beat their compatriots Heather Hughes and Emily Day in straight sets with a 21-15, 23-21 victory and they used their greater experience to establish early momentum that carried them through the match.
“It is really important to establish being aggressive and to get on the attack,” Akers said. “We wanted to go on the attack and get them on their heels because when you’re on your heels you can’t be as aggressive and that is why we wanted to attack and push them back.”
Akers and Hochevar must now battle through two rounds of qualifying to reach the women’s main draw that is due to begin on Thursday. They are aware that having played the country quota round makes life extra difficult, but are confident of progressing further.
“You just try to live another day,” Hochevar said. “It is absolute dog fight in the country quota and there is no ideal match.
“All I know right now is I am better than I was yesterday and hopefully tomorrow I am better than I was today. That is the goal.”
In the Brazil country quota match Liliane Maestrini and Angela Vieira beat Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas 21-19, 21-17, while German teams Christine Aulenbrock and Chantal Laboureur, and Geeske Banck and Kira Walkenhorst both reached the qualifying rounds.
The smart Grand Slam Berlin is the seventh of nine mixed gender tournaments on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour and the eighth women’s tournament of the year. The women’s final is scheduled to take place on Sunday July 15 and the winning side will leave with the largest share from a purse of $300,000 per gender.
The Berlin tournament is the penultimate before the London 2012 Olympic Games in which 24 women’s and men’s teams will play for gold at London’s Horse Guard’s Parade.
The women’s calendar is set to culminate with the Bang Saen Thailand Open powered by PTT in Thailand which runs from October 23-28.
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