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Keizer & Van Iersel top Pool B on day one of Fuzhou Open

Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel from the Netherlands get on track in their first matches of the season at Fuzhou Open
Fuzhou, China, April 25, 2013 – Sanne Keizer and Marleen Van Iersel from the Netherlands top Pool B after winning their first two matches of the Fuzhou Open in China on Thursday.

The Dutch pair made hard work of their first match in the morning against China’s Wang Fan and Ding Jingjing, but held on in the third set to win 21-19, 16-21, 15-13. Keizer and Van Iersel’s second match went a little more to their liking, beating Austrians Doris Schwaiger and Stefanie Schwaiger 23-21, 21-16.

Slow start

Keizer and Van Iersel are current European Champions and have a number of Open and Grand Slam medals to their name.

“We’re feeling pretty good, better than expected actually so we’re happy with the progress,” said Van Iersel.

“This morning was not a really good game for us, we had problems with starting but then we made up in the second game, but anyway we won this morning so it’s two in a row,” said Keizer.

The Dutch pair are set to face Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst on Friday, but the German pair face an uncertain future in Fuzhou after they were forced to withdraw from both today's matches due to Walkenhorst's leg injury.

Czech Republic find their rhythm

Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova from the Czech Republic have been achingly close to a World Tour medal, finishing fifth on numerous occasions. The pair started their season slowly losing to USA’s  Summer Ross and Brittany Hochevar in the morning (26-24, 21-18, 15-12). Kolocova and Slukova began to find their rhythm in the afternoon beating Canada’s Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney (21-17, 21-18).

We’re feeling better than after the first match because we lost that one and we didn’t play well. So we had a long discussion and tried to prove that we are a top team so we’re happy that we made this match,” said Kolocova. 

 “We tried to do everything differently to this morning. It was our first game of the season and you could see we were pretty nervous and we had high expectations,” said Slukova.

“This game we just tried to continue how we know we can play and get into our game, get some rhythm and try not to focus too much on the outcome. We just have to pull ourselves together and show it on the court.”

Kolocova and Slukova face Spain’s Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan in their final Pool F match on Friday.

Fuzhou, capital of the Fujian province lies on the southeast coast of mainland China and hosts the Open event for the first time. The city held the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup in 2012 where Taliqua Clancy was part of the winning Australian team.

The Fuzhou Open is the first of eight Open events during a bumper nine-month season, which also includes the FIVB World Tour – 10 Grand Slams and the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stare Jablonki, Poland.

The Shanghai Grand Slam is the next tournament on the calendar running from April 30 to May 5.

Please click here for full results of the Women’s Main Draw

Please click here for the Women’s Pool Standings

Follow live comments throughout the tournament at #FuzhouOpen

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