Gstaad Five Star – Beach Major Series
Four of the five American women’s teams in the main draw won their opening pool play matches at the Gstaad Major on Wednesday.
Of the 16 pool play contests, just four went the distance, with Americans Alix Klineman/April Ross‘ win over Spain’s Liliana Fernandez Steiner/Elsa Baquerizo among them. Klineman/Ross rallied after dropping their opening set 20-22, to win 23-21, 15-7.
Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Santos Lisboa, Russia’s Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova and Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre also claimed three-set wins. The 19th ranked Russians edged past No. 14 Americans Lauren Fendrick/Emily Day, 23-25, 21-19, 15-12.
No. 6 Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude from Germany, the 2017 Gstaad Major champions, were the highest seed to lose, falling to American qualifiers Kelley Larson/Emily Stockman 21-9, 21-19.
No. 21 Kerri Walsh Jennings/Nicole Branagh, a wildcard entry from the United States, upset No. 12 Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch of Germany 24-22, 21-19.
The win gets Walsh Jennings, who is playing in her 14th event in Gstaad, one step closer to matching Brazilian Emanuel Rego‘s record for gold medals earned at one site. Walsh Jennings has won six golden cowbells in Gstaad, all with Misty May-Treanor (2002-04, 2006-07, 2014). Currently the pair ranks tied for second with Brazilians Shelda Bede/Adriana Behar for most golds for a duo at one event.
The chart below shows the individuals with five or more FIVB World Tour gold medals at one event.
Women’s pool play wraps up on Thursday ahead of two elimination rounds on Friday.