Lili and Vieira win three in a day to reach group stages
First of all the Brazilian duo faced their compatriots Maria Clara Salgado and Raquel Pellucci in the country quota round and duly won that match 25-23, 21-19 to reach the qualification rounds. There they faced Switzerland’s Romana Kayser and Joana Heidrich, who they also defeated in straight sets, 21-13, 21-18.
That in turn meant that Lili and Vieira faced German pair Geeske Banck and Kira Walkenhorst in the second qualification round and won 21-16, 21-14 to ensure their place in the women’s main draw that begins on Wednesday.
“The first match was always going to be tough because it was against another Brazilian team and it was a hard match,” Lili said. “The second and third matches were against two good teams, a Swiss and a German team, so we are really proud with how we worked and we are really happy to play tomorrow.
“We have just played in Moscow, so we have played a lot of days in a row. Then we came here without having a break, but that’s ok because we will play tomorrow. Now we will have a rest and do our best tomorrow.”
Finnish sisters Erika and Emilia Nystrom by contrast only had to play one match, but were pushed all the way in it by Dutch duo Jolien Sinnema and Marloes Wesselink.
After taking the first set, the Netherlands pair fought back in the second and then saved a match point before eventually the Nystrom sisters won 21-16, 16-21, 17-15.
"It is really nice to get into the pool play of a Grand Slam tournament and the high pressure games are really important for us,” Erika Nystrom said. “All this year we have played in the qualification rounds and we have made it through them in six out of seven.
“We had to be mentally strong out there today and that helped us through. We made some mistakes in the third set, so we had to relax and we came back and managed to take it.”
The smart Grand Slam, Rome is the sixth tournament on the women’s FIVB SWATCH World Tour, which features 12 events and culminates with the Bangsaen Thailand Open powered by PTT in October.
Rome is the last tournament in which world ranking points count towards qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games and the winning team will leave with a prize of $43,000.