Italians rule qualifiers at Nantong
Italy's Alice Gradini (above) and Claudia Puccinelli advanced to the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Silk Road Nantong Open with two victories on Thursday
Barboni/Costantini made convincing wins against Asian opponents in straight sets. They opened the tournament with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) win over Thailand’s Chanthira/Khanok/Sumitra Sow and then followed-up with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) triumph against Japan’s Reika Murakami/Chiyo Suzuki.
Gradini/Puccinelli faced compatriots Andrea Nucete-Elliot/Rebecca Perry in the first round, posting a 2-1 (21-15, 19-21, 15-7) win before recording a 2-0 (21-14, 21-18) win over Canada’s Marie-Christine Lapointe/Charlotte Sider.
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The United States’ McKenna Thibodeau/Madison Witt are also the day’s double-match winners in the hard-fought 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-10) encounter with Japan’s Sakurako Fujii/Samaa Miyagawa and the easier battle with Latvia’s Alise Lece/Ilze Liepinlauska 2-0 (21-17, 21-16).
In the first round, China’s Dong Jie/Hang Ting defeated Israel’s Michal Barannik/Anita Deev 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-10), but Chinese side were powerless against the much stronger Israeli duo Noy Chorin/Sofia Starikov, who made short work of their rivals 2-0 (21-11, 21-4).
Hong Kong’s Wai Yan Au Yeung/Ting Chi Yuen beat Poland’s Agata Ceynowa/Martyna Kloda 2-1 (21-19, 14-21, 15-13), Thailand’s Prosnuda Kritsana/Yodsaphat Pakham routed Canada’s Caleigh Cruickshank/Megan Nagy 2-1 (19-21, 25-23, 15-11) in the second round matches.
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