Two Tanja’s start Stare Jablonki upsets
The Swiss duo, ranked 17th started off by defeating 16th seeds Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy, 2-0 (21-17, 21-18). Later in the day they followed that win up by beating the first seeds Juliana Felisberta and Maria Antonelli of Brazil, 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 16-14).
Elsewhere in the women’s draw two of the three most recent FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal winning duos set up a winner-takes-all clash in pool D.
Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler won gold at the Gstaad Grand Slam and they will now face Klagenfurt Grand Slam winners Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes on Thursday.
The men’s competition began with the men’s qualifiers and the two top teams; Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson of the USA and Brazil’s Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves progressed with straight set victories.
Late call signals home delights for Fuchs and Kaczmarek
Sebastian Fuchs and Thomas Kaczmarek shrugged off a late call to play in the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam and defeated Maverick Hatch and Christian Redmann to advance to the main draw on Wednesday.
The German pair only found out from the German Volleyball Federation on Monday that they would be participating in Poland, so quickly jumped in their cars and drove across the border to be ready for the qualification round.
They didn’t hang around to reach the main draw with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) victory over the Canadian pair.
“It is great to be in the main draw here in Poland. It is a dream come true,” Fuchs said. “We only knew that we were playing here on Monday and we are really happy as we played well and now we are looking forward to playing in the main draw with some of the best teams in the world.”
Borger and Buthe aiming for more Stare Jablonki memories
Karla Borger and Britta Buthe made a strong start to the Stare Jablonki Grand Slam as they won both their matches on Wednesday.
The pair have fond memories of the Polish venue having made their breakthrough at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships where they won silver, their first Beach Volleyball World Tour success.
First off the German duo defeated Canada’s Taylor Pischke and Melissa Humana-Paredes 2-0 (21-13, 21-14) and they followed that result with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) victory over Russia’s Alexandra Moiseeva and Evgenia Ukolova.
“They are both pretty good spikers and I think the first set was really tight and we served pretty well and that stopped them getting into their normal game.
“In the second game we made a lot of service errors and that allowed them to come back. They are a good team and they had a good side out, so they made it a real fight at the end.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam runs from Tuesday August 19 until Sunday August 24 when the men’s medal matches take place. It is the 13th event and the ninth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features 10 Grand Slams and nine 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 Sao Paolo Grand Slam which runs from September 23-28.