Gstaad, Switzerland, July 14, 2018 - It will be Canada vs. Brazil in the first women’s semi-final at the $600,000 Gstaad Major after beach volleyball pairs from the North and South American continents won quarterfinal matches here on Saturday morning.
With the Brazilian men out of the competition after placing ninth, 25th, 25th and 25th, third-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa Brazil defeated 26th-seeded qualifiers Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman of the United States 2-1 (20-22, 21-15, 15-7) in Saturday’s first quarterfinal match in 46 minutes.
Agatha, the Olympic silver medal winner at the Rio 2016 Summer Games with Barbara Seixas advances to her first semifinal in her eighth Swiss Alps village appearance after placing fifth in five of the last six Gstaad events with a quarterfinal appearance with Duda where the Brazilians were eliminated by Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Canada.
For the Brazilians, it will be their 10th FIVB World Tour final four appearance in 17 events together as Agatha and Duda will be seeking their third gold medal and second this season after topping the podium in mid-May on home sand in Itapema.
The top-seeded Humana-Paredes and Pavan will again be Agatha and Duda’s opponents in Gstaad as the Canadians advanced to their second-straight semifinal in the Alps village and 10th overall by defeating ninth-seeded Alix Klineman/April Ross of the United States 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) in 36 minutes.
Melissa Humana-Paredes (left) and Sarah Pavan of Canada
Humana-Paredes and Pavan are competing in their 16th FIVB World Tour event together with two gold medals to their credit at the 2016 Porec Major and earlier this season in Xiamen, China. The head-to-head series between the two teams is tied at 2-2 with Humana-Paredes and Pavan winning the last two with a semifinal in Xiamen.
The last two women’s quarterfinals will be played after the men’s semifinal matches with seventh-seeded and defending Gstaad Major champions Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany meeting 30th-seeded qualifiers Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami of Japan and with fifth-seeded Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic challenging second-seeded Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson of Canada.