Duda & Ana Patricia during the World Championship final

New champions of the world Eduarda Santos Lisboa (Duda) and Ana Patricia Ramos of Brazil will be one of the teams to look out for when the Beach Pro Tour Gstaad Elite 16 event begins in the Swiss Alps on Wednesday. The two players return to Switzerland as partners after they participated in the final of the World Tour Gstaad event in 2021 on opposite sides of the net.

The Gstaad event will be held in a unique format, without qualifications, but with as many as 32 teams competing in the main draw. Teams from 17 different countries are set to take to the courts in the women’s competition. Brazil will be represented by seven pairs, hosts Switzerland will participate with four duos, while Canada, Germany and USA will have three teams each.

Watch the pool play matches and quarterfinals on the Beach Volleyball World YouTube channel. The semifinals and finals will be streamed live on Volleyball TV.

Duda and Ana Patricia triumphed at the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rome last month, and are seeded fifth on entry points. In 2021, Duda won Gstaad gold with Agatha Bednarczuk by her side. In the all-Brazilian final, they claimed a 2-0 (23-21, 21-18) victory over Ana Patricia and her former partner Rebecca Silva. The two newly crowned world champions joined forces for the new Olympic cycle, at the end of 2021, after previously winning the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic title together. They claimed their first Beach Pro Tour medal just before Rome 2022, a bronze at the Jurmala Elite16, and will be looking for their second in Gstaad.

Ana Patricia’s previous partner, Gstaad 2021 silver medallist and 2019 bronze medallist Rebecca will also be in Gstaad. She and experienced teammate Talita Antunes will be playing for a place on their third Elite16 podium, after finishing third in Rosarito and second in Ostrava earlier this year. Three-time Olympian Talita is also a three-time Gstaad winner after topping the podium in 2009 with Maria Antonelli and in 2015 and 2016 with Larissa Maestrini. She also has a 2017 silver and a 2013 bronze on her Gstaad resume.

Rebecca and Talita will be seeded second, just above their compatriots Barbara Seixas and Carol Solberg. The number two team in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Ranking will arrive in Switzerland seeking their fourth Beach Pro Tour medal. In addition to earning silver at the Jurmala Elite16, Barbara and Carol topped the podiums at the Challenger events in Tlaxcala and Doha. Barbara finished second in Gstaad in 2013, and Carol was a runner-up in 2019.

Swiss duo Nina Brunner and Tanja Huberli will lead the main draw bracket as the top-seeded team. The reigning European champions have already won two Beach Pro Tour bronze medals this year, in Ostrava and in Doha. Their best Gstaad finish was the fourth place they took in 2019.

Previous world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, who won gold at the last Elite16 tournament in Jurmala, will be seeded fourth in their quest for a another Gstaad podium. They won the 2018 World Tour 5-star in the Swiss Alps and finished third in 2017 and 2021.

There is an abundance of successful top-calibre teams further down the entry list too, including: Rosarito winners and World Ranking leaders Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands, Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho Del Solar of Australia, Rome 2022 World Championship runners-up Brandie Wilkerson and Sophie Bukovec of Canada, Rosarito Elite16 silver medallists Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina of Latvia, last World Tour Finals winners Karla Borger and Julia Sude of Germany, and reigning Asian champions Taravadee Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee, to name a few.

The 32 duos in the women's tournament are split into eight pools of four. A modified pool format will qualify the pool winners straight to the Round of 16, while the pool runners-up and the third-placed teams will play for the remaining eight spots.