Gstaad Five Star – Beach Major Series
After pulling out of their final two AVP San Francisco matches last weekend due to a rumored injury, Americans Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman seem to have returned to form winning a pair of country quota matches on Monday and one qualification match on Tuesday to claim a spot in the Gstaad Major main draw.
Larsen/Stockman stumbled in their opening set in Gstaad, falling 21-19 to Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock, but rebounded to win four straight set to make their way through the country quota, including a straight set win over Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar.
Once in the qualifiers, the pair received a bye to the second round and promptly ousted Italy’s Agata Zuccarelli/Gaia Traballi 21-17, 21-13 to move on to Wednesday’s main draw.
Seven other teams advanced through the qualifiers to pool play:
- Kim Behrens/Sandra Ittlinger (Germany)
- Andrea Strbova/Natalia Dubovcova (Slovakia)
- Megumi Murakami/Miki Ishii (Japan)
- Emilie Olimstad/Oda Ulveseth (Norway)
- Liliana Fernandez Steiner/Elsa Baquerizo (Spain)
- Azusa Futami/Akiko Hasegawa (Japan)
- Kinga Kolosinska/Katarzyna Kociolek (Poland)
Six of the 11 first round qualifying matches went to tiebreak and four of the eight second rounders also went the distance.
No. 22 seed Olimstad/Ulveseth won both of their matches in tiebreak, first rallying past Japan’s Mizoe/Hashimoto 19-21, 21-17, 15-4, then claiming their main draw spot with a 15-21, 21-14, 15-10 win over Argentina’s Ana Gallay/Fernanda Pereyra.
Also advancing to the main draw with three-set victories were: Murakami/Ishii, Futami/Hasegawa and Kolosinska/Kociolek. All three rebounded after falling in the opening stanzas. The most impressive comeback came from Murakami/Ishii, which shook off a 21-8 loss to rally past Latvians Tina Graudina/Anastasija Kravcenoka 21-17, 15-9.
Country Quota – Women – USA
Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman def. Amanda Dowdy/Irene Pollock 19-21, 21-17, 15-10
Larsen/Stockman def. Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar 21-13, 24-22