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Beach Volleyball - 07. May 2010.

Eight Women’s Main Draw teams from four countries undefeated at Shanghai Open

China's 2008 Olympic bronze medalists, Chen Xue, right, and Xi Zhang work together during two first-day main draw victories on Thursday at the Shanghai Open.

Shanghai, China, May 6, 2010 - When the last Mikasa ball hit the sand following Thursday’s first day of women’s Main Draw competition, eight teams remained undefeated in the $US380,000 Shanghai Open presented by City Beach as the Chinese port city hosts the international Beach Volleyball community this week in the Jinshan District for the seventh-straight year.

Three teams from USA advanced along with two teams from Austria and Brazil and one team from the host country China on the second event of the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour. With one loss each and still playing in the 32-team double-elimination tournament are 16 additional teams as well as the eight who are undefeated so far.

The eight teams who advanced to the 32-team women’s Main Draw were top-seeded Julina Felisbert Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil, second-seeded Marie Antonelli and Talita Antunes of Brazil, third-seeded April Ross and Jennifer Kessy of the United States, fourth-seeded Angie Akers and Tyra Turner of the United States, sixth-seeded Nicole Branagh and Misty May-Treanor of the United States, seventh-seeded sisters Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger of Austria, ninth-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang of China and 12th-seeded Sara Montagnoli and Barbara Hansel of Austria.

The medal matches for the $380,000 Shanghai Open will be played on Saturday for the men and on Sunday for the women at the Jinshan Beach Volleyball Complex.  With the Shanghai stop being the second of 12 double gender stops on the 2010 SWATCH FIVB World Tour calendar, the winning teams will share the $30,000 first-place prizes.


Friday’s schedule features 22 women’s matches ending with the quarterfinals of the winner’s bracket.

To the delight of the home fans, China’s Xue and Zhang, bronze medalists at the 2008 Beijing Olympics who are playing together again for the first time this season after playing last year with different partners, defeated teams from Finland (three sets) and Brazil (two sets).

Juliana and Larissa, who won the FIVB season-opener in Brazil two weeks ago, opened the tournament with victories over teams from China and Australia while Ross and Kessy, the 2009 FIVB World Champions, defeated pairs from the Netherlands and Switzerland with both victories coming in two sets.

Akers and Turner overcame teams from Norway and Mexico, the first in two sets and the last in three while compatriots Branagh and May-Treanor advanced with two two-set main draw victories over teams from Great Britain and Greece.

The Schwaigers also had a pair of two-set wins over tandems from Switzerland and Germany while their compatriots Montagnolli and Hansel beat duos from Brazil (two sets) and the Czech Republic (three sets).

“Our return together hasn’t been easy, but we were okay with a seventh place finish in Brazil for our first tournament back together and we are very pleased to win our first two matches here in Shanghai,” Chen Xue said after her team’s second victory of the day. “We are starting to work together better and better, but we still have a long way to go to return to the level we played at in 2008. We were challenged very much in both of our matches today, but especially the first one against the Finnish team who won the first set and we had to come from behind to win it.”

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