Fuzhou, China, April 22, 2014: Back-to-back qualification tournament wins from France’s Yannick Salvetti and Jean-Baptiste Daguerre, including a hard-fought three-set victory over top seeded qualifiers Vitor Felipe and Evandro Oliveira of Brazil, secured them a spot in the men’s Main Draw at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Fuzhou Open on Tuesday.
Salvetti and Daguerre made it through their first qualification match in the morning beating Inocencio Lario and Javier Monfort of Spain 2-0 (21-17, 21-18). In the longest match of the opening day, the newly formed French pair then stunned the Brazilian top seeds in three sets 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-10) to book themselves a Main Draw position.
After dropping the first set, Felipe and Evandro upped their game in the second to level the match. In the deciding set, Salvetti and Daguerre jumped 9-4 ahead before the Brazilians cut the deficit to two points at 10-8. The French pair then managed to pull away again and on their second match point Daguerre secured the victory with a powerful spike.
“We played together just four or five tournaments, while the Brazlians used to win some World Tour events. They are a pretty good team. But today we took our chance and won,” an elated Daguerre said after the match.
In their second match of the day, Jan Dumek and Premysl Kubala from the Czech Republic held off a challenge from Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Yakovlev and Alexey Kuleshov at the end of the first set to win 2-0 (21-19, 21-15) and earn them a spot in the Main Draw.
Leading 19-15, Dumek and Kubala were on the verge of taking the first set but the Kazaks fought back to make it 19-18. After Kluleshov served into the net, Dumek powered home a smash to finish the game on their second set point. In the second set the Czechs took control after 7-7.
Earlier in the day the Czech pairing beat Belarus’s Aliaksandr Dziadkou and Yauhen Vishneuski 2-0 (21-15, 21-17).
“We knew that the qualification everytime was tough, but we expected this and were well prepared into the tournament. I think we did a good job today,” said Dumek.
“Last tournament we played in Durban, we were the fourth. If we continue to play like this tomorrow, I think we can go quite far,” he added.
Also advancing were two teams from Canada and one each from Russia, USA, Switzerland and Latvia.
The US$175,000 Fuzhou Open has attracted a total of 121 teams attending from 35 countries (66 men’s teams from 29 countries and 55 women’s teams from 25 countries).
The FIVB season-opening event see men’s action running from Tuesday through Saturday and women’s competition running from Wednesday through Sunday, using a format of a one-day qualification tournament to determine the final eight spots in each gender’s 32-team main draw tournaments followed by round-robin pool play and a single-elimination bracket for the final 24 teams.
Fuzhou, capital of the Fujian province lies on the southeast coast of Chinese mainland and hosts the Open event for the second straight year.
In addition to the Fuzhou Open, two other stops are scheduled in China in 2014 on the FIVB international schedule: the FIVB Shanghai Grand Slam (April 29 to May 4) and the FIVB Xiamen Open (October 7 to 12).All three are double-gender events. —- FIVB