XIAMEN, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China's female duo Wang Fan/Yue Yuan gained an easy win on Friday over Australian pair Artacho Del Solar/Kendall and secured the only main draw berth of 2017 FIVB World Tour Xiamen Open, while the other 4 Chinese pairs were out.
Wang/Yue hammered the challengers from Thursday's qualification round 21-16, 26-12. They did not attend any World Tour event after Rio's Olympics, seeing Xiamen Open as the first FIVB appearance this season.
"We had a long rest last year after Rio and got back to training this year," said Yue. "We just came back from Thailand, taking part in some matches in Asian Tour events. Now I feel a bit tired, not intensive enough. Sometimes I couldn't hold on the game with too many turnovers. It's tough to meet the strong pair next round."
China sent two new female pairs, Xue Chen/Wang Xinxin and Xia Xinyi/Wang Yuanyuan, to the event. They lost respectively to German duo Borger/Kozuch, 1-2, and Brazilian pair Barbara/Fernada, 0-2.
Chinese beach volleyball star Xue has changed her career partner for five times, now pairing with 19-year-old Wang. Xue also changed her position from net to back court, focusing more on defense.
"We had too many turnovers at the beginning of the second set and lost too many points," said Xue. "I played attacking role for many years and I began to learn how to defense in the back zone a month ago. It's hard to make the change. Sometimes I though I could save the ball but still a bit short to get there."
Miao Zhihong, head coach of the Chinese national team, told Xinhua that the tournament has been altered from the previous group match to the current knockout game.
"The new pairs, always scheduled to the strong ones according to the world rankings, will face tough challenges. There won't be many more chances for the new," said Miao.
On the men's side, Chinese pairs Ha Li kejiang/ Bao Jian and Li Zhuoxin/Zhou Chaowei were defeated respectively by the American duo Doherty/Drost and Swiss pair Beeler/Krattiger.
The second round of the 150,000 U.S. dollars event and the quarterfinals will start on Saturday.
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