Talita and Lima labor into second round knock-out phase at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open
Fuzhou, China, April 25, 2014 - Brazil's second seeds Talita Da Rocha Antunes and Taiana Lima overcame Rimke Braakman and Jantine van der Vlist of the Netherlands 2-1 (21-15, 21-23, 15-11) in their first round knock-out phase match at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open in China on Friday.
Despite beating Kazakhstan's Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova 2-1 (19-21, 21-10, 15-12) in their final pool match in the morning, Talita and Lima had to settle for second spot in Pool B and set up a clash with Braakman and van der Vlist.
Talita and Lima won the first set comfortably, 21-15. But the second set was a see-saw battle as the teams played point by point before the Dutch pair took it on their second set point with an ace serve by Braakman. In the deciding third set, the Brazilians enlisted a little help from their experience to take the upper hand and triumphed.
"It was a difficult match. They served good. But it's important that we won," said Lima.
Awaiting Talita and Lima in the last of 16 round match are another Dutch team - Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel, who advanced after finishing atop Pool G.
Except Talita and Lima, the other top five seeded Main Draw teams - Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi from China, German pair Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, Brazil’s Maria Clara Salgado Rufino and Carolina Solberg Salgado and USA's Kerri Walsh and April Ross - topped their respective pools to directly enter the second round of the knock-out phase on Saturday.
Also on Friday, Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee from Thailand, who are ranked 24th at the tournament, produced an upset when they defeated 13th seeded Americans Brittany Hochevar and Lane Carico 2-1 (20-22, 21-19, 15-9) to progress to the second round of the single elimination phase.
"We trained very hard back home, so I feel very happy about the victory," Radarong said after the match.
Radarong and Udomchavee next face defending champion Xue Chen and Xia Xiyi, whom they narrowly lost to last year at the Asian beach volleyball championship.
"Tomorrow we will just focus on our own game, and it doesn't matter if we win or lose," said Radarong.
The women's tournament continues on Saturday with the second and third single elimination rounds.
Fuzhou, capital of the Fujian province, lies on the southeast coast of the Chinese mainland and hosts the Open event for the second straight year.
In addition to the Fuzhou Open, two other stops are scheduled in China in 2014 on the FIVB international calendar: the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam (April 29 to May 4) and the FIVB Xiamen Open (October 7 to 12). All three are double-gender events.