Swiss delight as women lay down early marker at Gstaad Grand Slam
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 9, 2014 – The two Tanja’s –
Goricanec and Huberli - ensured that the home crowd would have something to
cheer on the opening day of the Gstaad Grand Slam women’s main draw when they
won both their matches.
Tanja Huberli (left) and Tanja Gorincanec gave the home crowd plenty to cheer as the Gstaad Grand Slam started|
The Swiss pair were one of nine teams to finish the
day with two wins from two.
Goricanec and Huberli opened by defeating European
champions Marleen van Iersel and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands 2-0
(21-16, 21-11) and then followed up with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) win over the USA’s
Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat.
It means that they are guaranteed a place in the
elimination rounds and will be guaranteed to top their pool if they defeat
Austria’s Stefanie Schwaiger and Barbara Hansel in their final pool fixture.
In the men’s competition eight teams battled through
to the main draw over two round of qualification, with the main draw due to
begin on Thursday.
Student and master roll into Gstaad main
Todd Rogers rolled back the years at the Gstaad Grand
Slam as he and partner Theodore Brunner progressed to the main draw with a
straight-sets win over Tiago De J Santos and Jefferson Santos Pereira.
The US-pair beat the Qatari’s 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) in
only their third FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour tournament together.
Rogers and Brunner have known each other for over a
decade from their time together at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Rogers, a former Olympic and FIVB Beach Volleyball world champion, was coaching
there at the time and recruited Brunner, a player he believes has the potential
to go far in beach volleyball.
“He’s young and got at least two or three more
Olympics he could possibly go to,” Rogers said.
“I’ve known Theo quite a while, basically since he was
17, 18 years old and this is a case of I want to see him do well and push him
to be the best player he can be and today he was pretty good.”
Borger and Buthe seeking continued
improvement in Gstaad
With one World Tour medal under their belt in 2014
Britta Buthe and Karla Borger showed that they are in the mood for more as the
Gstaad Grand Slam women’s main draw got underway on Wednesday.
The German pair started off with a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21,
19-17) win over their compatriots Chantal Laboureur and Anni Schumacher and
then followed up by defeating Poland’s Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska 2-0
This year they won their first Tour medal with bronze
in front of their home fans in Berlin. However, they have reached the
quarterfinals of tournaments five times in 2014, something they are aiming to
remedy, starting in Gstaad.
“We have to be more consistent,” Borger said. “We have
shown we can play really good games and we have shown that we can beat anybody,
but when you want to be consistently reaching the semis and finals we have to
do a little more and that is what we hope to do in the coming tournaments.
US$800,000 FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam runs from Wednesday, July 9 until Sunday July
13 when the men’s and women’s medal matches take place. It is the ninth event
and the fifth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar
that 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 Transavia Hague
Grand Slam which runs from July 15-20.
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