Warsaw, Poland, June 27, 2018 – After 46 qualification matches on Wednesday, the line-up for the men’s and the women’s main draws at the four-star FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Warsaw stop is now complete. The rain is gone and the event in the Polish capital is in full swing in pleasant weather conditions. Eight men’s teams from eight different countries and nine women’s pairs from nine different countries have sneaked through the qualification sieve, with Brazil, Norway and USA represented in both genders.
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Top-seeded Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland received a bye in the first qualification round of the men’s competition. In the second, they claimed a straight-set win over Jyrki Nurminen and Santeri Siren, but the Finns made them work for it, especially in the first set - 2-0 (23-21, 21-15).
“It was a good game. At this level you cannot be surprised by the opponent,” Gerson commented. “We watched many videos of their games, so we were well prepared. I think that our serve was key to our success in this game. In the first set the Finnish team played well and the result was close, but in the second set we played better, especially in serving and the result was clearer. We have been here in Warsaw since Monday and I can say that the venue is very nice and so is the city. The courts are awesome and we have perfect conditions for beach volleyball here.”
Mirco Gerson hits the ball against Santeri Siren’s block
Three pairs earned their spots in the main draw after pulling off come-from-behind three-set wins in their second round matches. In the longest lasting game of the day, Brazil’s Alvaro Morais Filho and Saymon Barbosa Santos claimed a 2-1 (15-21, 23-21, 15-12) turnaround victory after 63 minutes of a nip-and-tuck battle against Slovenia’s Nejc Zemljak and Jan Pokersnik. USA’s Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick claimed a 2-1 (18-21, 22-20, 15-7) victory over China’s Likejiang Ha and Jiaxin Wu, and Venezuela’s Carlos Rangel Charly and Jose Gregorio Gomez Tigrito delivered a 2-1 (16-21, 21-17, 16-14) upset of Lucerne and Jinjiang winners Trevor Crabb and John Mayer of USA.
Chile’s Esteban Grimalt and Marco Grimalt, Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler, Lithuania’s Lukas Kazdailis and Arnas Rumsevicius and Norway’s Mathias Berntsen and Hendrik Nikolai Mol also scored two wins each on Wednesday and will compete in the men’s main draw starting on Thursday.
Norway’s Oda Johanne Ulveseth and Ingrid Lunde won in straight sets 2-0 (21-19, 21-7) against Thailand’s Rumpaipruet Numwong and Khanittha Hongpak in the first round, but had a much tougher encounter in the second. After a hard-fought tie-breaker, they snatched a 2-1 (21-11, 15-21, 15-13) victory over Canada’s Jamie Lynn Broder and Taylor Pischke.
“In the second set the Canadian team was side-outing very well. The tie-break was very tight as they continued to play well... It's great to play this kind of match and even more fun to win them,” Lunde said.
“We were focused on ourselves all the way playing our game and this time it took us to victory. We played two matches today, but we are not feeling tired. We are just ready for tomorrow - it will be a lot of fun,” Ulveseth added.
Oda Johanne Ulveseth spikes against Taylor Pischke
The Czech Republic’s Tereza Kotlasova and Daniela Resova, seeded 30th in the qualification bracket, had two tie-breakers to play, and managed to win both of them and advanced to the main draw. First, they claimed a 2-1 (21-14, 19-21, 15-6) victory over third-seeded Ukrainians Valentyna Davidova and Ievgeniia Shchypkova and, then, they came back from a set down against Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee to emerge victorious 2-1 (18-21, 21-18, 15-13).
With two Wednesday victories each, Brazil’s Josemari Alves and Liliane Maestrini, Finland’s Taru Lahti-Liukkonen and Anniina Parkkinen, Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Laura Giombini, Latvia’s Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina, Spain’s Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan and USA’s Betsi Flint and Emily Day also progressed to the 32-team main draw. Despite losing to the Norwegians, Broder and Pischke of Canada also stay in contention after being drawn as lucky losers.