Women eye knock out rounds as men lay down markers in pool play
Returning triple Olympic champion Kerri Walsh and new partner April Ross are on course for a quarterfinal against newly crowned world champions Chen Xue and Zhang Xi after both completed pool play with unbeaten records.
Meanwhile the most successful team of the year, Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima, lie in wait in the second elimination round for their compatriots Maria Clara and Carolina Salgado, who must first beat the Netherlands’ Jolien Sinnema and Michelle Stiekema.
In the men’s competition there are a number of teams who will be playing off for top spot.
Kazakhstan’s Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko will try to cause an upset and beat Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt in Pool B, while in Pool C the Netherlands’ Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil go head to head with Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs.
Ross and Walsh into knockout rounds unbeaten
Ross and Walsh needed to dig deep to fight back against the Salgado sisters to win 2-1 (19-21, 21-12, 15-10) and reach the elimination rounds with three wins from three.
The Brazilians made life hard early on for Ross and Walsh, but they kept calm, drew level in the second set and took control of the third to win the match.
“It feels like we’re zig and zagging,” triple Olympic champion Walsh said. “We know it is going to be a challenge, but so long as you are steady in your head your physical stuff will catch up.” MORE
New world champs off to perfect start in Gstaad
New world champions Chen Xue and Zhang Xi showed no signs of a drop off in form as they completed pool play with an unbeaten record.
After two three-set wins on the opening day on Wednesday, they needed only two to beat the Netherlands’ Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel 2-0 (21-15, 21-15). It was in stark contrast to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013, when they finished third in their pool after slipping to a loss in their second match.
“Last week in the World Championships we lost one match and finished third in the pool, but now we are first in the pool so I think we have improved,” Xue said. MORE
Spanish duo find form to beat world champs
Herrera and Adrian Gavira had to fight back from a set down to become the first team to defeat newly crowned world champions Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen when they won 2-0 (16-21, 21-15, 15-13).
“We’re very happy and it was good, but it will all count for nothing if we don’t win tomorrow,” Gavira said. “We played well and it’s good to beat the world champions, but we need to win tomorrow.” MORE
The Gstaad Grand Slam is the fifth Grand Slam of 10 on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The tournament began with women’s qualifying on Tuesday July 9 and ends with women’s and men’s medal matches on Sunday July 14.
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