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06/11/2019 16:00
Teams from six countries secure Main Draw spots in Tel Aviv
2019 FIVB World Tour 1-Star - Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, Israel, November 6, 2019. The first ever FIVB World Tour event hosted in Israel started on Wednesday at Frishman beach with the qualification round. All of the local teams due to contest this stage of the competition were not able to cause any surprises against better-seeded opponents.

In the women’s tournament, teams from Ukraine, Russia, Sweden and the USA found their way to the Main Draw, which begins on Thursday. Ukraine’s Tetiana Lazarenko and Anhelina Khmil stunned 1st seeded Helle Søndergård/Signe Zibrandtsen Haaning of Denmark 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) in the second qualification round after 38 minutes of play.
Russians Elena Sviridova/Ekaterina Katser [4] posted a 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) triumph over Ukraine’s Anna Chechelnytska and Daria Romaniuk. Sweden’s Nina Grawender and Sigrid Simonsson, who recently claimed top honours at a NEVZA home event in Göteborg, managed to get a 2-0 (21-12, 21-12) victory over Swiss Anna Lutz and Menia Bentele, and qualify to the Main Draw too. The last team to move on was the 10th seeded Americans Melissa Fuchs and Delaney Knudsen who beat Scotland’s Lynne Beattie/Melissa Coutts 2-0 (21-14, 21-8).

On the men's side, Aleksandr Kramarenko and Serguei Prokopiev from Russia defeated sixth-seeded Swedes Linus Tholse/Viktor Jonsson 2-0 (21-11, 21-17) after 38 minutes in the first qualification round. They progressed to the Main Draw after a dramatic 2-1 (21-19, 23-25, 17-15) win in the most intense game of the day over Martin Pihera and Ondrej Sotola of the Czech Republic. It is a perfect comeback to international competition for 2012 Olympian Prokopiev, who is contesting his first World Tour event since 2015.

Michal Korycki and Martin Chiniewicz of Poland were among the teams to qualify for the Main Draw in Tel Aviv.

Another Russian team, Vsevolod Bobrikov/Vladislav Mikhalev, made it to the Main Draw as well, following their 2-0 (21-14, 21-13) victory against Poland’s Pawel Lewandowski and Piotr Groszek. Another Polish tandem, Michal Korycki/Martin Chiniewicz, finished their day in a happy mood after recording a 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) win over Czech Republic’s Frantisek Knobloch and Jakub Vala. The fourth and last team to secure a Main Draw spot are Czechs Jiri Sedlak/Patrik Manas, the eventual winners of a derby with Martin Sramek/Tomas Pala 2-1 (21-19, 19-21, 15-10) after an hour and three minutes.      

There were as many as three Israeli teams in the qualification round. In the men’s competition Amit Masuri and Ovadia Sidon lost 0-2 (15-21, 10-21) to Sramek and Pala. In the women’s tournament, Hila Nacson and 46-year-old Sharon Ophir Chetrit had to accept a heavy 0-2 (8-21, 6-21) loss after 30 minutes to the first-seeded Danish team of Søndergård/Zibrandtsen. Gal Miriam Maliar and Lidia Vaindberg gave a tough challenge to Beattie/Coutts but had to say goodbye to the tournament after suffering a 1-2 (17-21, 21-19, 11-15) loss.  

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