As the second international double-gender event to be held on the Arabian Peninsula in the 35-season history of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the 4-star Katara Beach Volleyball Cup in Qatar has attracted the top teams on the international circuit.
Led by reigning FIVB world champions Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada and Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Oleg Stoyanovskiy of Russia, eight of the top 10 women’s teams and nine of the top 10 men’s pairs are entered in the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup.
Entry list - Men
Entry list - Women
Humana-Paredes and Pavan are ranked first on the women’s list ahead of Alix Klineman and April Ross of the United States, who the Canadians defeated for the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship title in Hamburg, Germany. The Americans are in the Doha field along with the third- and fourth-ranked teams in the world from Brazil - Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa and Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva.
Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy will be making their second appearance in Doha after placing ninth in the 2019 Katara Beach Volleyball Cup when the Russians were eliminated by Qatar’s Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan. The Qatari pair is one of four teams from the host country in the competition along with Saifeddine Elmajid/Benlouaer Ziad, Assam Mahmoud/Abdallah Nassim and Joao Gusson/Denis Messelmani.
With the Norwegian pair of Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, the No. 1-ranked men’s team on the World Tour standings, not competing together at the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup, other top men’s tandems are No. 3 Alison Cerutti/Alvaro Filho and No. 4 Evandro Goncalves/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil and No. 5 Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland.
Bryl and Fijalek captured the most recent Katara Beach Volleyball Cup in March 2020 by defeating the young Mexican team of Josue Gaxiola and Jose Rubio 2-1 (16-21, 21-19, 15-11) in the 63-minute final. Gaxiola and Rubio are currently the 56th-ranked team in the world and will start this year’s event in the qualifier.
Rio 2016 Olympic silver medal winners Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy defeated Evandro and Bruno 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) for the 2020 bronze medal in 34 minutes. Currently ranked ninth internationally, they will be competing in their fifth Katara Beach Volleyball Cup event.
Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera, who are tied for 11th on the FIVB World Tour rankings with Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, are the most experienced men’s team in the field with Katara Beach Volleyball Cup being their 117th FIVB event together.
Led by Ross and compatriot Kerri Walsh Jennings along with Brazilian Carolina Salgado, one team and five other players that competed in the first women’s event on the Arabian Peninsula in October 2008 will be competing nearly 13 years later in the Katara Beach Volleyball Cup.
Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh won the 2008 Dubai Open by defeating Ross and Jen Kessy in the final with Carolina capturing the bronze medal with her sister Maria Clara, who scored their bronze medal win over the Schwaiger sisters (Doris and Schwaiger) of Austria.
Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez, the most experienced men’s or women’s partnership in the field with 120 FIVB events, placed 13th in the 2008 Dubai Open as the Spaniard pair were completing their first World Tour season together. Elsa and Liliana are currently ranked 20th internationally.
Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel of the Netherlands placed ninth together at the 2008 Dubai Open and will be competing this March with different partners. Keizer and Madelein Meppelink are currently the 10th-ranked team on the World Tour with van Iersel now competing for the first time with Pleun Ypma.
The Katara Beach Volleyball Cup will begin with men's and women's qualifications on March 8 with main draw pool play the next day. The first two rounds of elimination will be March 10 followed by the quarter- and semifinals on March 11.
The 4-star double-gender Katara Beach Volleyball Cup is the second of two events in Doha this year. The 1-star Doha Beach Volleyball Cup will be played from February 22-26 and is a men’s only event.
Go to: Katara Beach Volleyball Cup 2021
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour