Juliana and Antonelli to meet Walsh and Ross in women's final at FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open
Despite a second-rally from the Salgado sisters, Juliana and Antonelli emerged the winners in the all-Brazilian clash 2-1 (21-15, 13-21, 15-10) in 51 minutes to set up a final showdown against three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh and April Ross from the USA.
The American pair, seeded fourth in the season-opening tournament, fought back from one set behind to upset local favorites and top seeds Xue Chen and Xia Xinyi 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 15-11) in 47 minutes.
"China came out and played amazing volleyball. We came out really agressive, but we were playing into their tracks, so we made a few adjustments in game two and set three," said Walsh.
"They are such a great team that make you think so much. They brought the best out of us."
Walsh, who started to partner with Ross last year, predicts another tough battle ahead in the afternoon.
"I expect it to be tough, but our plan is to win," said Walsh.
"We've never seen this team (Juliana and Antonelli) before. We both know the players individually, but not as a team. It's always a challenge to play someone for the first time, but we just gonna focus on ourselves, and give it all," added the 35-year-old veteran.
After sitting out last year's FIVB World Tour, Juliana returns to team with veteran Maria Antonelli and made it to the Main Draw at the Fuzhou Open from the Qualification Tournament.