2015-07-09 12:57:00 CET
The physicality of Pool play took its toll at the Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series stop in Gstaad, Switzerland on July 9, with women from Germany and Canada making medical forfeits as the day opened, while the men began to launch their own battles in multi-match group contention.
The big news at the Gstaad Major on Thursday morning was that Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler – who made the final four in the recent FIVB World Championships – withdrew from the tournament due to an abdominal muscle strain to Holtwick. Their departure secures the Pool D win for the number four seeds from Brazil, Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves. Another team finishing their tournament due to medical reasons: Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke forfeited their noon match against Switzerland’s Tanja Goricanec and Tanja Hüberli due to a knee injury that had already plagued Pischke on Wednesday, ensuring that the Swiss will live to fight another match.
Kicking off men’s morning play at the 6,000-seat Center Court, the number one seeds Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst of the Netherlands needed three sets to defeat a fired-up home team, Switzerland’s Nico Beeler and Alexi Strasser, who are making their first appearance in a Swatch Major Series Main Draw. Both teams will play new opponents as Pool matches continue. Other countries celebrating early men’s wins on Wednesday included Austria, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Spain, the USA, and Switzerland itself, with the eighth seed team of Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson topping 25 seeds from Kazakhstan.
Matches continue into the evening, with home Swiss teams as well as the Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, among other standouts, in the Center Court spotlight.