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2018-03-01 22:45:00 CET

Young Russians knockout Czechs

Kholomina and Makroguzova have advanced to the Round of 16 with an impressive win

Kholomina spikes during the Fort Lauderdale MajorKholomina spikes during the Fort Lauderdale Major

Reigning European Under-22 champions Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina are already making some noise among the best beach volleyball teams in the world as the 20-year-old Russians posted an impressive 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) win over Krystina Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova to knock the Czech pair out of the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Major and book their places in the Round of 16 in Florida.

The Czech duo, which competed in last year’s World Tour Finals, was among the favorites to win medals in the first Beach Major Series event of the season and was one of the first teams to arrive in Florida to prepare for the tournament.

“It was hard, they are a very good team,” Makroguzova told us after their victory. “We’ve lost to them before and it was big for us to win now, especially playing so well. It was a big step for us. We were third in the pool and now we have a good chance to be in the top-8, which would be great.”

The Europeans, who started their campaign in Fort Lauderdale in the qualifier, have won four of their five matches in Florida so far. It’s only their eighth tournament together, with just two of them being part of the World Tour.

“It’s our first time together in the Beach Major Series and it matters a lot,” Makroguzova, who debuted in World Tour when she was only 17, said. “I’ve played in the Beach Major Series before and I love it. The weather is nice and we’re enjoying it.”

The Russians are now set to face another Czech team, the one of Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova, which was the first placed in Pool D.

Other five teams advanced to the Round of 16 this afternoon, including Brazilian qualifiers Taiana Lima and Carol Horta, who defeated The Netherlands’ Marleen van Iersel and Joy Stubbe in three sets (21-19, 18-21, 15-12).

Canada advanced two teams with both beating Finnish tandems as Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson posted a 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) win over Riikka Lehtonen/Niina Ahtianen and qualifiers Jamie Broder/Taylor Pischke triumphed against Anniina Parkkinen/Taru Lathi-Liukkonen also in two sets (21-15, 23-21).

Germans Isabel Schneider and Victoria Bienek also made the cut after their straight-set victory (21-19, 21-16) against Ukraine’s Valentyna Davidova and Ievgeniia Shchypkova with China's Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia completing the lists thanks to a 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 15-12) win over Switzerland's Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart.

The final two slots will be decided after the night session, when Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa face Germany's Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur and Americans Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross play against Brazilians Carol Solberg and Maria Elisa Antonelli.

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