Wang & Xia, April & Alix, Bryl & Fijalek, Evandro & Bruno Schmidt advance to knockout stage

The two Chinese pairs delivered the big upsets of the day in the women’s beach volleyball tournament at Tokyo 2020. One of them, Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia, as well as USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman booked their spots in the Round of 16. On the men’s side, Evandro Goncalves and Bruno Schmidt of Brazil and Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland also advanced to the next round.

Chen Xue and Xinxin Wang, last-minute Olympic qualifiers from Asia’s Continental Cup, went up against Dutch stars Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink in a Pool B second-leg game on Tuesday. With both sides on the losing end of their first-leg matches, they battled it out on almost a survival mode as some great defence from both team produced three sets full of spectacular rallies. The Chinese pair came out from narrowly losing the first set and saving as many as six match points in the second to level the score deep into the overtime and eventually edging forward in the tie-breaker to celebrate a 2-1 (19-21, 31-29, 15-13) victory after an hour and six minutes on the court.

USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman mastered a 2-0 (21-13, 21-16) victory over Spain’s Liliana Fernаndez and Elsa Baquerizo, their second win of the tournament, which in the end of the day booked them a spot in the Round of 16.

In the Pool C encounter between Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia and FIVB World Ranking leaders Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Santos Lisboa of Brazil, the Chinese team declined to accept the underdog role and confidently prevailed over the Brazilian stars on the way to a solid 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) victory.

In men’s Pool E, two teams managed to register their second victories of the tournament and book their spots in the next stage. Evandro and Bruno Schmidt produced a 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) shutout of Morocco’s Mohamed Abicha and Zouheir Elgraoui. Bryl and Fijalek mastered a 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win over Chile’s Marco Grimalt and Esteban Grimalt.

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