Xue & Zhang Xi aim for successful season start in Fuzhou
Fuzhou, China, April 24, 2013 - Top seeds Chen Xue and Zhang Xi of China will take on England's Zara Dampney and Lucy Boulton in their opening match of the Fuzhou Open when the Main Draw begins on Thursday.
Chen Xue and Zhang Xi from China are home favourites at the Fuzhou Open|
Xue and Zhang Xi will be aiming to begin this World Championship year as they mean to go on against the new English pairing, who enter the Main Draw seeded 32nd after win their two qualification matches on Wednesday. With the absence of world champions Larissa França and Juliana Felisberta da Silva and London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, it may be the year of the Chinese pair.
An impressive run for Xue and Zhang Xi in 2012 included gold in Brasilia, Shanghai, Moscow as well as silver in Berlin and bronze in Sanya before ending the year by retaining their Asian Championship title and finishing second behind Larissa and Juliana in the race to be World Tour champions.
USA’s Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, seeded fourth, will hope to get back on the podium after a relatively quiet 2012 with bronze in Rome and gold in Bangsaen, compared to five podium finishes in 2010 and seven in 2011. When in form, the pair is capable of great things, claiming the World Championship title in 2009 and silver at London 2012.
After many years of success, Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Talita Da Rocha Antunes each enter Fuzhou with new partners. Antonelli joins 29-year-old Agatha Bednarczuk as the best ranked Brazilians, seeded fifth, while Talita is seeded seventh with Taiana Lima.
European challengers come from the Netherlands in the form of second seeds Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel, who beat Xue and Zhang Xi on the way to silver in Gstaad Grand Slam last year and are the current European champions.
The Dutch pair took the European title last year from the 2011 champions, Italians Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti who are seeded third and collected bronze at last year's season opening event in Brasilia. The start of 2012 was particularly fruitful for Cicolari and Menegatti having won Beijing Grand Slam silver before going on to claim bronze at the Berlin and Gstaad Grand Slams and another silver at the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam. However, an FIVB gold still proves elusive.
The final of the women’s event takes place on April 28.
Fuzhou, capital of 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 ninth-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 the Women’s Main Draw full schedule and live comments throughout the tournament can be found on Twitter at #FuzhouOpen.
- Anderson announces break from volleyball
- Closing Ceremony ends IRCC in Zimbabwe
- Beach volleyball coaching course completed in Qatar
- Coaches course begins in Cameroon
- CEV President delighted at successful General Assembly
- Cool Volley takes off in Cordoba
- 2014 Fair Play Award presented to Romanian Beach Volleyballers Ordean and Melniciuc
- CEV launches “Green Way” campaign
- CEV announces organisers of European Championships
- CEV goes social, with new Twitter, Facebook accounts
- CEV and Mikasa extend their partnership for another four years
- CEV President reviews year of success for Europe’s Volleyball family
- CEV President opens XXXV General Assembly in Antalya
- Northern Marianas turn to Cool Volley for growth
- CEV BoA sends message of unity and cohesion on eve of XXXV General Assembly
- CAVB Referees Course ends in Burkina Faso
- ExCom meeting opens busy week for CEV
- Grankin inducted into elite Sergey Tetyukhin Club
- VakifBank adds Super Cup glory
- Myanmar hosts Technical Seminar
- Coaches course completed in Chennai
- Peru win gold medal at U20 Final Four Cup
- International coaches course begins in Costa Rica
- IRCC begins in Zimbabwe
- Cameroon hosts Teachers VCP
- Tomis sets up U13 department in neighbouring city of Tulcea
- Swedish women, Norwegian men take gold at U19 NEVZA Championships
- China and Korea clash top of agenda on day 3 of Asian U20 Championships
- Iran, Qatar match highlights day two of Asian U20 Championships
- Marte Hoffiz to preside Dominican Hall of Fame induction ceremony
- Day two set to begin at Asian U20 Men’s Championship
- Hosts Thailand up against Korea, Japan set cup 2012 final rematch with China in semi-finals of Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- Peru and Dominican Republic open with victories
- Hong Kong outclass India in playoff of Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- Lima ready for first edition of U20 Final Four
- Peru host U20 Final Four Gatorade Cup
- Japan aim to make it three in a row at 17th Asian Men's U20 Championship
- Hosts Thailand stun world champions China in Asian Girls’ U17 playoffs
- Halkbank clinch Turkish Super Cup crown
- Congo hosts fifth Volleyball festival
- Auckland completes VCP coaching on a high note
- Russia retain first place in European women's ranking
- Sixth edition of Denitza Krivova Memorial held in France
- JaVA look forward to increased participation in Developmental Volleyball Championship
- Wiener Städtische announced as Serbian League sponsor for ninth season
- China, Japan, Korea, Thailand send rivals packing at Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- Hosts Thailand, Japan, China, Korea top their pools at Asian Girls’ U17 Championship
- President Medina congratulates Dominican women’s team
- Brazil win South American U22 Championship
- Benfica edge Castêlo to win Portuguese Supercup