Keizer & Van Iersel top Pool B on day one of Fuzhou Open
The Dutch pair made hard work of their first match in the morning against China’s Wang Fan and Ding Jingjing, but held on in the third set to win 21-19, 16-21, 15-13. Keizer and Van Iersel’s second match went a little more to their liking, beating Austrians Doris Schwaiger and Stefanie Schwaiger 23-21, 21-16.
Czech Republic find their rhythm
Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova from the Czech Republic have been achingly close to a World Tour medal, finishing fifth on numerous occasions. The pair started their season slowly losing to USA’s Summer Ross and Brittany Hochevar in the morning (26-24, 21-18, 15-12). Kolocova and Slukova began to find their rhythm in the afternoon beating Canada’s Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney (21-17, 21-18).
“We’re feeling better than after the first match because we lost that one and we didn’t play well. So we had a long discussion and tried to prove that we are a top team so we’re happy that we made this match,” said Kolocova.
“We tried to do everything differently to this morning. It was our first game of the season and you could see we were pretty nervous and we had high expectations,” said Slukova.
“This game we just tried to continue how we know we can play and get into our game, get some rhythm and try not to focus too much on the outcome. We just have to pull ourselves together and show it on the court.”
Kolocova and Slukova face Spain’s Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan in their final Pool F match on Friday.
Fuzhou, capital of the 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 nine-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.
Follow live comments throughout the tournament at #FuzhouOpen