Dubai, United Arab Emirates-After the teams of Nicole Branagh/Kerri Walsh and Jen Boss/April Ross earned women’s Dubai Open semi-final berths here Thursday, sister tandems from Austria and Brazil joined the Americans in the “final four” after winning elimination matches later in the evening.
The winning teams on the Jumeirah Beach Park centre court will share the $28,000 first-place prizes for the 18th men’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour event this season and the 17th for women. Two more events for both genders remain on the schedule with the next stop being for men at the end of October in Bahrain.
Earning semi-final berths opposite of the Americans were the second-seeded Salgados (Carolina and Maria Clara) of Brazil and the 10th-seeded Schwaigers (Doris and Stefanie) of Austria as the “Sister Acts” posted wins over teams from Germany and Canada to advance to Friday’s women’s “final four” schedule.
With the Austrians and Brazilians in the Dubai Open semi-final, it marked the second time in SWATCH tour history that the two sister teams have competed for an international medal. The first was at the end of August in Norway when the Schwaigers defeated the Brazilian sisters for the Kristiansand bronze medal.
The top-seeded Branagh and Walsh, who posted a 21-13 and 21-14 semi-final-qualifying win in 39 minutes over 21st-seeded Annie Martin and Marie-Andree Lessard of Canada, will face the Salgados while Boss and Ross meet the Schwaigers for the second time on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour. Boss and Ross defeated the Schwaigers in a 2007 match in Austrian Grand Slam in Klagenfurt.
After losing to third-seeded Boss and Ross 21-17 and 21-18 win in 42 minutes in their first match Thursday, the Salgados earned their seventh SWATCH FIVB World Tour semi-final appearance in 58 international Beach Volleyball events together with a 21-10 and 21-18 win over seventh-seeded Anja Gunther and Geeske Banck of Germany in 42 minutes.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty images