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US and Australian pairs unbeaten in Amsterdam

USA's April Ross and Kerri Walsh needed to dig deep to see off Canada's Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan in Amsterdam on Wednesday
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, July 16, 2014 – Australia’s Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy and USA’s April Ross and Kerri Walsh began their first day of pool play at the US1$-million Transavia Grand Slam strongly with two wins apiece in Amsterdam on Wednesday. Home pair Sanne Keizer and Sophie Van Gestel failed to give the home fans something to cheer about, however, coming agonisingly close in their final match of the day.
Canada’s Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan pushed Ross and Walsh all the way in their second match of the day, narrowly losing out 21-15, 22-24, 17-15. The pair, who finished fifth in Gstaad earlier this month, surrendered two match points as they went down to their American rivals. Following the clash Kerri Walsh outlined her and April Ross’ intent to win the tournament.
“That was a battle,” Walsh said of the match. “That’s the first time we’ve seen that team [in competition]. We’ve trained against them but haven’t competed against them. We had a lot of chances in set two to win and we had a big lead in set three and gave it away. But I’m really proud because we got down and they are a very good team defensively serving wise and we stayed strong together which is good. We had lots of chances. We’re both so disappointed because everyone is too good to not take advantage of chances so hopefully we’ll learn from this today and go forward to tomorrow.

“We want to win this thing”
It was the second loss of the day for the Canadians after they were defeated by Bawden and Clancy earlier on and it was a bitter pill to swallow for the tandem.

“Any time you can push Kerri and April you know you’re doing something right,” Pavan commented. “Unfortunately it was just a couple of points but we’re going to take away what we can from that game and hopefully we’ll continue playing like we have done for the rest of the tournament.”

Pool play concludes in Amsterdam tomorrow as Walsh and Ross battle Bawden and Clancy while Bansley and Pavan meet Keizer and Van Gestel.

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