Agatha (left) and Duda are hoping to have more to celebrate at the Dela Beach Open in January
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 20, 2017 – Beach volleyball’s leading duos will be out in force for an early start to 2018 when they compete at the Dela Beach Open in The Hague from January 3-7.
The tournament is the opening tournament to the 2018 side of the 2017-18 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, a competition that will run until the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in August.
Brazil have announced a strong line-up in the women’s side of the draw in The Hague. Leading the way in the women’s draw are Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa.
The pair won silver at the 2017 World Tour finals to mark the end to a strong first year as a team, a year in which they also won gold, silver and bronze at World Tour events.
Agatha’s former partner Barbara Seixas is also set to feature, alongside Fernanda Alves. They won gold in Xiamen in 2017, but over the rest of the season they were unable to find their way onto the podium.
There is a more experimental feel to the Brazilian men’s teams. Leading the changes is the vastly experienced Pedro Solberg who will play with George Wanderley, one of the up and coming stars of Brazilian beach volleyball.
He won his first World Tour gold at the Espinho 2-Star event in 2017, and previously won both U21 and U19 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship titles.
Hosts the Netherlands have entered seven teams in both genders. Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen will aim to start the year in the same way that they began 2017 when they won gold in Xiamen.
Sanne Keizer continues her return to the World Tour having stepped down at the end of the 2014 season. She teamed up with fellow Dutch Olympian Madelein Meppelink in 2017 and featured at The Hague 3-Star tournament.
They will be up against USA’s April Ross who will begin a new chapter of a career that has featured Olympic silver and bronze medals and 2009 World Championship gold, alongside Alix Klineman.
The duo are being coached by Jennifer Kessy, who played with Ross when they won the 2009 world title and London 2012 silver.
Latvia’s leading duo Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins will also be present. They missed out on retaining their European title when they lost to Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai. They are likely to have one eye on recapturing European gold at the 2018 edition, which will take place in four venues across the Netherlands.