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Italy’s Gioria and Giombini upset Xue/Xia at Prague Open

Italy's Daniela Gioria and her partner Laura Giombini booked a surprise win over Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia from China
Prague, Czech Republic, May 22, 2014 – Italy’s Daniela Gioria and Laura Giombini caused the first upset at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Prague Open on Thursday.

In their second pool match the Italians, ranked 21st, defeated the Fuzhou and Puerto Vallarta bronze medallists Chen Xue and Xinyi Xia in two sets (22-20 21-19).

“We are happy to beat such a very good team’’, 34-year old Gioria said about the Chinese, who won the Phuket and Durban Open last year. “But in this game we served very well and we had a good side-out.“

Veteran Gioria and her younger partner Giombini (25) have been playing together since 2013, with several 17th place finishes as their best result so far.

“We have been losing a lot of games before just by two points or in tie-breaks, like this morning against the Nystrom-sisters (16-21 22-20 15-12). We have learned in these games that every ball is important, we need to focus only on the ball we play and nothing else.“

China, who had an easy 21-14 21-14 win in their morning match against Norway’s Treland/Pedersen, took a lead in both sets but were pressured a lot and could not hold on till the end.

“We had a good start in each set, but they kept pressuring us’’, world champion Xue said. “We made a lot of mistakes serving and did not have a lot in blocking and defence.”

China will play the still unbeaten Finnish Nystrom-twins on Friday to decide who is going to be pool winner. But Gioria and Giombini also have a theoretical chance of winning the pool.

Gioria: “We want to play our best in every game and we will see what happens next. We don’t have an exact goal, we just want to play good in every next match.“

FIVB Prague Open Tournament Page

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