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Eight teams advance Tuesday to Men’s Main Draw at Shanghai Open

Michael Biza blocks Canada's Matt Zbyszewski during Czech Republic's qualifying win on Tuesday at the Shanghai Open.

Shanghai, China, May 3, 2010 - After three rounds of qualification tournament matches for 44 teams, tandems from Brazil, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Poland and Spain all advanced to the final field for Wednesday’s men’s 32-team Main Draw tournament at the $US380,000 Shanghai Open presented by City Beach as the Chinese port city is hosting the international Beach Volleyball community this week in the Jinshan District for the seventh-straight year.

A double-gender competition and the second event of the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour, the colorful opening ceremonies for the Shanghai Open were held Tuesday morning on the center court of the Jinshan City Beach complex during the men’s qualification tournament. FIVB President Jizhong Wei along with Chinese government officials were honored guests as President Wei announce that this event will be part of the Olympic qualifying process in 2011.

With 38 men’s matches played on a windy Tuesday in Shanghai, the Czech Republic and Germany both advanced two teams while the other countries each advanced one team.  China has welcomed 130 teams from 35 countries. This event is the 245th men’s and 204th women’s competition in the history of the World Tour.

Both winning two qualifying matches and both needing three sets in the final one to advance, the Czech Republic's Robert Kufa and Michal Biza defeated teams from Venezuela and Canada while Premysl Kubala and Petr Benes beat teams from Canada and Australia. Kubala and Benes were the fourth-seeded qualifying team while Kufa and Biza were the 17th-seeded qualifying team.

Germany’s two advancing teams, each with two wins Tuesday were sixth-seeded Stefan Windscheif and Sebastian Dollinger along with 10th-seeded Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik who started the tournament Monday by winning a Country Quota match. Windscheif and Dollinger beat teams from Austria and Italy while Erdmann and Matysik’s wins Tuesday were over teams from the Ukraine and Denmark.

After a fourth place finish in Brazil two weeks ago as a Main Draw entry, Brazil’s Pedro Cunha and Thiago Santos Barbosa had to advance to the Main Draw this week by way of qualifying wins over teams from Bulgaria and Russia. As the eighth-seeded qualifying team, Cunha and Thiago needed three sets in their final match Tuesday to advance

Estonia’s third-seeded qualifying team of Karl Jaani and Rivo Vesik earned their Main Draw berth with two-set and three-set victories over two teams from Japan.

With wins over teams from Australia and France Tuesday, Poland’s Michal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz moved forward to the Main Draw. The Polish pair was seeded 12th in the qualifier.

Seeded second in the qualifying tournament, Spain’s Inocencio Lario and Raul Mesa will play again Wednesday after winning in two sets each over teams from Russia and Sweden.

With a new Shanghai Open men’s champion to be crowned in 2010, the opening “money” rounds will be held on Wednesday.  Women’s play opened Tuesday with the Country Quota rounds, to be followed by the qualifier Wednesday and the Main Draw’s first rounds Thursday.

The medal matches for the US$380,000 Shanghai Open will be played Saturday for men and Sunday for women at the Jinshan Beach Volleyball Complex.  With the Shanghai stop being the second of 12 double gender stops on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar, the winning teams will share the $30,000 first-place prizes.

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