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2018-07-12 20:20:00 CET

Meet the women’s pool winners

Teams from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and the USA finished pool play on top

Melissa Humana-Paredes and partner Sarah Pavan qualified for the Round of 16Melissa Humana-Paredes and partner Sarah Pavan qualified for the Round of 16

Pool play is concluded in the women’s tournament of the Swatch Major Gstaad and eight tandems advanced to the Round of 16 with a pair of victories in their first matches in Swiss Alps.

Two teams from Switzerland had the opportunity of topping their pools, but were taken down by North American duos and will have to play in the Round of 24 on Friday morning.

Local heroes Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré, who had won their first match in Gstaad on Wednesday, couldn’t handle Americans Alix Klineman and April Ross and let the Pool H top spot slip from their grasp after a 21-18, 22-20 defeat on Center Court.

Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli also started the day with hopes of topping their Pool, B, but Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson had other plans and grabbed the first place with a 2-1 victory (24-26, 27-25, 15-13) in front of the home fans.

Pool A was another won by a Canadian team as world ranking leaders Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes beat Germans Kim Behrens and Sandra Ittlinger in two sets (22-20, 21-12) to come out on top.

“I think both of us took care of our side out pretty well today, we were very steady,” Pavan commented. “We got a lot of defensive chances again and we really took advantage of them, so I think that was definitely the difference in the second set. We were efficient and we took care of what we had to do, so it was good.”

Back at it in Gstaad 🇨🇭🐄🧀 We are 2-0 so far in my fave event and have wrapped up first in our pool! There's much more to come tomorrow 🙌🏻 #gstaadmajor #fivbworldtour * 📸 by Mihai Stetcu/Beach Major Series

937 Likes, 10 Comments - Sarah Pavan (@sarah_pavan) on Instagram: "Back at it in Gstaad 🇨🇭🐄🧀 We are 2-0 so far in my fave event and have wrapped up first in our pool!..."

Brazil had one team leading its pool as Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa defeated Russia’s Nadezda Makroguzova/Svetlana Kholomina, but saw two other miss the same opportunity as Carol Solberg and Maria Elisa Antonelli couldn’t get through Germany’s Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider while Taiana Lima and Carol Horta were defeated by Australia’s Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy, one of the best teams in the world right now.

The United States had three other teams in contention for the top spots, but two of them were playing each other and qualifiers Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen got the better of Summer Ross and Sara Hughes to advance directly to the Round of 16. Veterans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh, on other hand, were stopped by Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova.

“Kerri and Nicole are beach volleyball super heroes, so we had to bring something extra,” Hermannova said at the end of the game. “We hadn’t played against them yet and we were excited to finally do it because it’s always good to play against the best. We had to fight for every single ball because they don’t give up easily.”

Slukova digs in the match against the veteran AmericansSlukova digs in the match against the veteran Americans

On Friday, the third main draw day in the Swiss Alps, 24 women’s teams will remain in contention with the eight pool winners secured in the Round of 16 and the second and third-placed tandems in each pool playing the Round of 24 earlier. Check out who will face who by clicking here.

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