Italy’s Claudia Puccinelli and Gaia Traballi in action en route to Aydin main draw
Aydin, Turkey, May 18, 2018 – The Aydin one-star event on the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour started on Thursday in Turkey with the qualification round. Four teams per gender secured their spots in the main draw of the tournament.
The women were the first ones to take to the court with eight matches scheduled for the first round of qualifications. Germany’s Leonie Klinke and Lisa-Sophie Kotzan stamped a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) victory in their matchup with Ukraine’s Diana Lunina and Anastasia Lysenko, after Lunina asked for a medical time-out at 17-17 in the second set.
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“This is a lovely city and we feel ready to play with this kind of weather,” Klinke said after the match. “We just played our game and eventually managed to secure a victory.”
In one of the other first-round matches round, Italy’s Silvia Costantini and Agata Zuccarelli easily routed Hungary’s Eszter Lutter and Szandra Szombathelyi 2-0 (21-11, 21-10) after leading from start to end. Costantini and Zuccarelli eventually secured their spot in the main draw with a solid 2-0 (21-15, 22-20) victory over Klinke and Kotzan.
Tadva Yoken and Sigrid Simonsson of Sweden made it to the next stage of the tournament as well after their 2-0 (21-9, 21-13) victory over Russia’s Ekaterina Filina and Mariia Kontorskaia.
“It is a great feeling to qualify for the main draw. The weather was hot, but we have been training in Izmir and spent some time in Asia before coming here, so we were used to it,” Yoken commented. “We are happy with being here and enjoyed the support from the crowd. Many thanks to all those who are coming to watch the tournament for their support!”
A second Italian tandem, Claudia Puccinelli and Gaia Traballi, progressed to the main draw after their 2-1 (17-21, 21-14, 15-7) win in their match-up with Austria’s Ronja Klinger and Valerie Teufl. They came from behind to emerge victorious from the only three-set match of the day.
Denmark’s Line Trans Hansen and Maria Elisabeth Tyndeskov were the last qualifiers for the main draw following their hard-fought 2-0 (23-21, 21-18) win over Switzerland’s Kim Huber and Tatjana Greber.
In the men’s qualifiers, Serbia’s Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric, despite claiming a landslide 21-9 win in the first set of their match with Egypt’s underdogs Abdelrahman Fayed and Ahmed Famy Farag, had to fight hard but yet lost the second set 22-20. Basta and Kolaric regrouped for the tie-break where they scored four points in a row to seal their victory at 15-11.
“We are very happy with this victory,” Kolaric said. “The expectations are very high, but 35 degrees is not easy to adjust to and we had problems with the weather conditions. We need to focus and play better.”
After their tough match with the Egyptians, Basta and Kolaric were the first team to progress to the main draw following a 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) win in the game with Martin Tichy and Jindrich Weiss of the Czech Republic.
Serbia’s Lazar Kolaric receives the ball during the decisive match with the Czechs
Poland’s Mateusz Lysikowski and Mateusz Paszkowski achieved the same feat after beating Austria’s Olympian Alexander Huber and his partner Simon Baldauf 2-0 (21-18, 21-16).
“Aydin is a great city and we like the place. Tonight the weather was cooler than earlier today and this helped us a lot because we played our first match with 35 degrees and under the sun,” Mateusz Paszkowski said. “We focussed on our game and in the end we were the better team. For my partner it will be the first appearance in the main draw of a World Tour event, so we feel excited and we think we can finish among the top three.”
Spain’s Raul Mesa and Christian Garcia and Sweden’s Jakob Molin and Linus Tholse were the last two teams to progress to the main draw. The Spaniards beat Austria’s Felix Friedl and Maximilian Trummer 2-0 (21-18, 22-20) coming back from a 16-19 deficit in the second set. Molin and Tholse played three sets with Switzerland’s Michiel Zandbergen and Gabriel Kissling, but eventually emerged victorious – 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-8).