Thailand’s Khanittha Hongpak celebrates a point in the game against Russia’s Frolova & Ganenko
Moscow, Russia, August 14, 2019 – Wednesday’s qualification matches for the vacant spots in the women’s main draw of the Moscow four-star stop on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour offered the spectators at the Luzhniki sports complex fierce battles, many of which extended to tie-breaker sets.
12th-seeded Sayaka Mizoe & Suzuka Hashimoto of Japan became the lowest ranked team to emerge victorious from their qualification games. They started their day with a straight-set 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) win of the all-Japanese clash with Kaho Sakaguchi & Reika Murakami, but then needed three sets to upset fifth-seeded Spaniards Paula Soria Gutierrez & Maria Belen Carro Marquez de Acunya on the way to the main draw – 2-1 (20-22, 21-16, 15-12).
Japan’s Mizoe & Hashimoto in defence
11th-seeded Varapatsorn Radarong & Khanittha Hongpak of Thailand played two three-setters on Wednesday, in each fighting back from a set down to emerge victorious. In the first round, they disappointed the home crowd with a 2-1 (21-23, 21-19, 15-12) win over Russia’s Anastasiia Frolova & Aleksandra Ganenko. In the second, they delivered a 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-12) upset of sixth-seeded Alexandra Jupiter & Aline Chamereau of France.
In a similar turn of events, Austria’s Nadine Strauss & Teresa Strauss, seeded 10th, managed two come-from-behind victories to battle their way into the main draw. The 23-year-old twin sisters mastered a 2-1 (11-21, 23-21, 15-8) turnaround against Switzerland’s Esmee Boebner & Zoe Verge-Depre to start their Moscow campaign. In their deciding match, they persevered through a 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 16-14) duel against seventh-seeded Finns Riikka Lehtonen & Niina Ahtiainen.
Austria’s Teresa Strauss in action
Another Swiss pair, eighth-seeded Laura Caluori & Dunja Gerson, also had to produce two wins to make the best 32 of the tournament, but they did so in straight sets. First, they cruised to a 2-0 (21-16, 21-10) shutout of Belarusians Viktoryia Siakretava & Lizaveta Chabai. Then, they survived an extended first set against Thailand’s Tanarattha Udomchavee & Rumpaipruet Numwong to run off with another clear victory – 2-0 (22-20, 21-13).
“We managed to play our game the entire time and we did not have a lot of bad situations. We are really happy to have made the main draw and I hope as of tomorrow we play as well as we did today,” commented Gerson.
“As Dunja has already said, we played very consistently today. We didn’t make a lot of mistakes and we fought hard for every ball. I hope we will do the same tomorrow,” Caluori added.
Happy Caluori & Gerson after making the Moscow main draw
The top four seeds, Brazil’s Taiana Lima & Talita Da Rocha Antunes, Germany’s Laura Ludwig & Margareta Kozuch, Victoria Bieneck & Isabel Schneider, also of Germany, and Greece’s Vasiliki Arvaniti & Panagiota Karagkouni, received byes in the first round and won their second-round matches to progress to the main draw.
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