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Latvians battle hard to reach Anapa Open main draw

Ruslans Sorokins is into the Anapa Open main draw
Anapa, Russia, May 28, 2014 – Ruslans Sorokins and Edvarts Buivids may have started the Anapa Open qualification round as number one seeds, but they were pushed hard by Turkey’s Ersin Durgut and Engin Ozbek before reaching the main draw. 

The Turkish pair won the opening set and were competitive throughout the second, but after the Latvians drew level they then found another gear to race away and win 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-3). 

“It is always nice to be there, even after this type of match,” Sorokins said. “It was one of our worst matches this season, certainly in the first set we were really tense and nervous and I’m not sure why.”

The 32-year-old Sorokins has been a regular face on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour since 2009, while the 20-year-old Buivids is in only his first season on the World Tour. 

It meant that Sorokins had to use all his experience to help turn the match around and reach the main draw that begins on Thursday May 29. 

“We managed to get out of the hole and show some character because the first set was terrible,” he said. “We started to make fewer mistakes and calmed down a bit because we were just getting angry and starting to argue. Plus they played a very good first set, it was really good and we were a bit surprised by how well they played.

“I think it is good for us, because mentally it was pretty difficult and after this type of game it is usually better for us.”

Joining them in the main draw are Michael Plantinga and Cameron Wheelan, who held off Austrians Michael Murauer and Florian Schnetzer with a 2-1 (21-16, 18-21, 15-13) victory.

For both players it is their first World Tour event since the 2011 Quebec Open, when they played with different partners. 

“On these courts because it is pretty windy it is pretty good that we got three sets out of it because you get used to the elements and that’s an advantage going into tomorrow, you get used to the wind,” Wheelan said. 

“We’re really excited and we’ve been playing really well recently,” Wheelan said. “We played in three NORCECA competitions in Cayman Islands and two in Guatemala and we played well in them.”

The double-gender US$150,000 FIVB Anapa Open in Russia runs from Tuesday, May 27 through to Sunday June 1 and the top three teams in each gender receive 250, 225 and 200 world ranking points. It is the fifth event and the fourth Open on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar, which features nine Grand Slams and 11 Open tournaments.

The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Moscow Grand Slam which runs from June 11-15.


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