China’s Chen Xue and Xi Zhang came out strong and got even stronger against the USA’s Jennifer Kessy and April Ross to capture the US$190,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour Phuket Thailand Open yesterday.
The Chinese duo beat their second-seed opponents 21-16, 21-14 in the 40-minute title match. The ease of the victory was all the more remarkable because Zhang played the match while struggling with a knee problem.
The FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour visited Phuket for the sixth consecutive year at the purpose-built venue on Karon Beach and the Chinese duo were delighted with the victory.
“This was the last competition of the year and its very important to end it well which we did this week,” Xue said. “My teammate is injured, but it hardly showed during the match. She is tough and what showed was how all of our practice and hard work prepares you for different situations and we played extremely consistently this entire tournament.” Zhang added: “My teammate carried me on her shoulders today and was always there when I wasn’t quiet there, it was remarkable to experience. “We really didn’t make very many mistakes and by controlling the tempo like that we got the happy ending that we wanted.
“The Americans are a great team but somehow today we didn’t miss on very many, sets, digs, kills and blocks. My knee hurts but obviously it feels a lot better now.”