Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva of Brazil, the current world’s number-one women’s beach volleyball team, have been ranked as top seeds for the US$190,000 (about 5.6 million baht) Phuket Thailand Open to be held on Karon Beach, November 2nd-7th 2010. This tournament, mainly sponsored by PTT, is the last stop on the 2010 Swatch FIVB Beach Volley World Tour, before the Asian Games in China.
The Brazilian pair have won seven tournaments so far, however they missed last year’s tournament in Phuket, but would come in 2010 with a strong squad including four Brazilian teams in the main draw.
Seeded second were another in-form team, the Chinese pairing of Xue and Zhang Xi, who have made podium finishes in their last four World Tour tournaments and have two wins to their credit this year. The German pair & 2010 European Champions of Goller and Ludwig, were seeded third, with reigning Olympic Champions from USA Kerry Walsh and Nicole Branagh as fourth seeds. The 2009 Phuket Open winners and current World Champions, also from USA, April Ross and Jennifer Kessy-Boss would also attend this year’s tournament.
Three Thai teams are also in the main draw. The Thais have two automatic slots as host nation. These went to Varatpatsorn Radarong and Tanarattha Udomchavee, and Yupa Phokongploy and Kamolthip Kulna, while Jarunee Sannok and Usa Tenpaksee received a wild card. Another three teams from Thailand will be participating in the qualifying tournament. Matches will be played from 9am daily on November 3 to 6, with the finals starting at 3pm on November 7. The NBT TV free network & T Sport on cable pay TV will broadcast the semi-finals and finals live nationwide:
Semi-finals: Saturday, November 6, 3pm to 5pm. Finals: Sunday, November 7, 3pm to 5pm.
Admission is free for spectators, who will be able to enjoy many support activities including an international amateur tournament, inter-hotel amateur tournament, school tournament, kid’s clinics and many booths in the enlarged sponsor zone, which also includes a beer garden and food outlets.