First seeds find rhythm early on in Moscow

 

Humana-Paredes (left) and Pavan are two from two at the Moscow 4-Star

Moscow, Russia, August 9, 2018 – Top seeds Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes lived up to their billing as first seeds at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Moscow 4-Star tournament when they won two from two on the opening day of the main draw on Thursday. 

The Canadians started by beating Russia’s Alexandra Moiseeva and Ekaterina Syrtseva 2-0 (21-16, 21-10), and then ensured that they would go straight into the second knockout round when they defeated Finland’s Taru Lahti and Anniina Parkkinen 2-0 (21-19, 21-14).

“Anytime you win your pool is amazing because the field is getting stronger and stronger, so it’s never easy to win the pool,” Pavan said. 

“We played a team that hasn’t been on tour for a while this morning and that is a little scary, and Finland have been playing well. It was close at the beginning and I was proud of how we could pull away at the end of both sets.”


Pavan and Humana-Paredes have already won two World Tour golds at the Gstaad 5-Star and Xiamen 4-Star tournaments, as well as claiming the inaugural Commonwealth Games beach volleyball gold at Gold Coast 2018. 

Their success has ensured that they will be competing in the final tournament of the 2017-18 season, the Hamburg 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals that pits the top 10 ranked teams against each other. 

Some of the qualified teams chose to miss the Moscow 4-Star, opting to rest and train, but for Pavan and Humana-Paredes competing in the Russian capital gives them the chance to ensure they are in top form in Hamburg.

“I think it is nice we are able to play and get these two ‘w’s today,” Humana-Paredes said. “I don’t think we’re at peak form. I don’t think we’re at our highest form for sure, there’s a long way to go. We’re getting there.”

Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa are another team that have booked their place in Hamburg, and like their Canadian rivals they opened their Moscow campaign with a brace of victories. 

First off they defeated Russia’s Yulia Abalakina and Ksenia Dabizha 2-0 (21-13, 21-15), and followed that result up by beating USA’s Betsi Flint and Emily Day 2-0 (21-19, 21-14). 

“It has been a good day,” Agatha said. “We were really focused on having a good first day, because in the last few tournaments we have made sure we won the first game and that is always a big aim for us. 

“We now have one match less and normally the draw should be better for us, in theory. We are happy with this because we achieved what we wanted today.”

Like Pavan and Humana-Paredes, Agatha and Duda opted to compete in Moscow despite having booked their place in Hamburg. 

Returning home to Brazil would only have left them with two days of rest before flying back to Europe, and another tournament allows them to stay in peak shape. 

“We think this tournament is important,” Agatha added. “It is 4-Star, so it is important for our points, for our rankings and for us to get to know more of the teams. 

“Hamburg will be great and it will be amazing to play there because it is the Finals, but there are only 10 teams there. Here there are far more teams and it means we can study them especially because Duda is young and is still gaining experience.”

The Moscow 4-Star is the last 4-Star tournament in the 2017-18 season, and runs from August 8-12. The final tournament to take place is the Hamburg 2018 FIVB World Tour Finals that run from August 15-19.