Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 10, 2017 - Three teams seeded No. 22 or lower in the Fort Lauderdale Major have reached the round of 16 Friday after a string of upsets. Four of those winners are still alive in the event after having to qualify to reach the main draw.
No. 26 Ekaterina Birlova and Nadezda Makroguzova of Russian upended No. 6 Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich of Switzerland, 2-0 (21-13, 21-16), to kick off a windy day on the outer courts of Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. Birlova/Makroguzova, one of the qualifiers, will take on No.1 seeds Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross in the afternoon.
Americans Brittany Hochevar and Emily Day, seeded No. 28, outlasted Joy Stubbe and Jolien Sinnema of the Netherlands, 2-1 (21-19, 22-24, 15-10) to advance. The duo, also a qualifier, will face Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude, the third seeds, with a chance to reach Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Kristyna Kolocova and Michala Kvapilova of the Czech Republic, seeded 22nd, swept Taru Lahti and Anniina Parkkinen of Finland, 2-0 (21-12, 21-14), and will meet seventh-seeded Brazilians Elize Maia and Taiana Lima.
While Barbara Seixas of Brazil captured the silver medal in the Rio 2016 Olympics, she still had to qualify with new partner Fernanda Alves and they remain in the running after a 2-1 (21-9, 17-21, 15-9) victory over Austrians Katharina Schutzenhofer and Stephanie Schweiger, a two-time Olympian. Barbara/Fernanda will meet Canadians Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley.
The fourth qualifying team to reach the round of 16 was Brazil’s Josemari Alves and Liliane Maestrini, who knocked off Sandra Ittlinger and Teresa Mersmann of Germany, 2-1 (21-15, 17-21, 15-10) and they will take on 2016 Olympians Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic.
Second-seeded Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes will meet the Netherlands’ Sophie van Gestel and Madelein Meppelink, who knocked off fourth-seeded Kira Walkenhorst and Julia Grossner of Germany.
American Olympian Lauren Fendrick, playing alongside 21-year-old Sara Hughes, earned a spot in the round of 16 against fifth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa with an exciting 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 19-17) win over Karla Borger and Maggie Kozuch of Germany.
Russia’s Evgeniya Ukolova and Anastasia Barsuk knocked off young Americans Kelly Claes and Kelly Reeves, 2-1 (19-21, 21-13, 15-10) and will take on another USA team, Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross.