Cès & Rowlandson beat top seeds to enter Fuzhou Main Draw
The tournament is the first of eight Open events during the bumper nine-month season in 2013, which also includes the FIVB World Tour.
The newly formed French team got off to a great start beating Dmitriy Yakovlev and Kuleshov Alexey from Kazakhstan in straight sets, 21-10, 21-17, in one of the opening matches of the tournament.
Cès and Rowlandson then faced top seeds of the Men’s Qualification Tournament, Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst after the Austrians received a bye in the first round. The French took the first game and held on into the third set to win 21-23, 21-18, 11-15.
“I’m really pleased as it’s my first experience in this kind of competition and also qualifying for the Main Draw is my first time, so I’m really excited,” said Rowlandson.
The French pair knew that they would have a tough match against the 2007 European champions, Doppler and Horst.
“It’s always the case against these Austrians. They are a really good team, but I think we could have been a little bit calmer than them and I think it really helped us at the end.
“It’s been a warm day here in Fuzhou so we maybe kept a little more energy than them,” said Cès.
“There is a big difference in our experience compared with Doppler and Horst. We are a new team and I’m a rookie.
“We have been playing together for 3 weeks now and we’re working hard to work on our relationship both on and outside the court, so it’s a discovery everyday,” said Rowlandson.
In their second match of the day Chile’s Esteban Grimalt and Marco Grimalt just missed out on a spot in the Main Draw after losing a close fought match against Italian pair Matteo Ingrosso and Paolo Ingrosso 21-23, 23-21, 15-17.
“I feel a little bit angry, the match was very close, but now we’re just thinking about the competition next week,” said Esteban Grimalt.
The Grimalt cousins are the only team from Chile to have played on the World Tour and beat Chinese duo Zhang Lizeng and Li Zhuoxin earlier in the day 19-21, 21-11, 15-13.
“That was not such a good match for us, many errors. The good thing was that we were 6-1 down in the third set and we won,” said Esteban Grimalt.
The result means the Ingrosso twins make up one of the eight teams that progress into the Main Draw which begins on Wednesday.
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 Cristopher McHugh and Isaac Kapa were part of the silver medal Australian team.
The Fuzhou Open is the first of eight Open events during a 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 full results of the Men’s Qualification Tournament and live comments throughout the tournament can be found on at #FuzhouOpen.