Gstaad Five Star – Beach Major Series
Americans Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman won their fifth match in Gstaad to claim the Pool G title and a free pass to the second elimination round on Friday.
After winning two country quota matches and one qualifying match, the duo stayed perfect with their second Pool G victory with a tiebreak win over countrywomen Summer Ross/Sara Hughes (19-21, 26-24, 15-12).
Fellow Americans Alix Klineman/April Ross, the No. 9 seed, were also among the eight pool winners, closing out Pool H with a straight set win over Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre.
No. 11 Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider (Germany) upset No. 6 Maria Antonelli/Carol Solberg Salgado (Brazil) in tiebreak to claim the Pool F title. Bieneck/Schneider dropped the opening set 21-14, but rebounded for a 21-19, 15-11 win.
The top five women’s seeds also were pool winners:
- Pool A: No. 1 Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan (Canada)
- Pool B: No. 2 Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson (Canada)
- Pool C: No. 3 Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa (Brazil)
- Pool D: No. 4 Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho del Solar (Australia)
- Pool E: No. 5 Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova (Czech Republic)
Six of the 18 matches went the distance with Agatha/Duda and Bansley/Wilkerson among the victors.
Agatha/Duda topped Russians Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova (21-19, 20-22, 15-10), while Bansley/Wilkerson played three deuce sets, winning the final two against homestanding Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli of Switzerland.
Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings/Nicole Branaugh moved on to Friday as the runnerup in Pool E, falling to Hermannova/Slukova 21-19, 21-14. The duo will play Germans Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude, who won the 2017 Gstaad title, in the first elimination round.
Summer Ross/Sara Hughes also will play on Friday, looking to bounce back against Japan’s Azusa Futami/Akiko Hasegawa.
Fourteenth seeded Lauren Fendrick/Emily Day of the USA also lost on Thursday, but it was the pair’s second of the competition, knocking them out of contention. Japan’s No. 30 Megumi Murakami/Miki Ishii came out on top 21-16, 21-13.