2018-07-09 18:00:00 CEST
The Americans came out on top in the nation’s country-quota in the Swiss Alps
Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman are one step closer to their first Beach Major Series main draw appearance as a team as they made through the American country-quota of the Swatch Major Gstaad this Monday.
The 26-year-old blocker and the 30-year-old defender won a pair of matches in the first day of the event in the Swiss Alps and booked their places to Tuesday’s qualification tournament, where they’ll try to grab one of the last eight berths in the main draw.
“I definitely think there’s a huge mental aspect that goes along with it,” Stockman, who finished 25th in Gstaad last year with Kim DiCello, commented. “We got in at 2 am this morning, so we could sit here and say we were tired and that was a long travel, but our mentality coming in is that we flew here for a reason. You need to be mentally tough to do it.”
Larsen and Stockman, who first played together in April, defeated Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-10) in their first match in Gstaad. In their next game, they surprised Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar, the silver medalists of the four-star tournament in Xiamen, with a straight-set (21-13, 24-22) victory and advanced.
“There’s a lot of pressure on our country-quotas,” Larsen added. “The American team as a whole is really deep. We see them a lot in our domestic tour and regarding to game plan, it’s kind of a chess game. Whoever can make adjustments earlier prevails and I think we did it today.”
The Swatch Major Gstaad is just the sixth tournament of Larsen and Stockman as a team and their best result so far is the bronze medal they won at the three-star event in Lucerne last May.
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