CKU BRA-BRA 020

Reigning world champions Ana Patricia and Duda of Brazil are the top-seeded team for the Finals

The lineup for the first-ever Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Finals, which will take place in Doha, Qatar from January 26-29, has been revealed, building up the excitement for the tournament that will mark the conclusion of the event’s inaugural season.

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Teams from eight different countries will compete for the women’s title and the 150,000 US Dollars reserved for the winners at the Aspire Park sports complex and here’s how they performed during the season and earned their places at the Finals.

Duda/Ana Patricia (Brazil)

The Brazilians enter the tournament as the top-ranked team and the FIVB World Rankings leaders after their highly successful first season as partners. Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa, 24, and Ana Patricia Ramos, 25, won the biggest tournament of 2022, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, and also triumphed in Beach Pro Tour Elite16 tournaments in Gstaad and Uberlandia. They’ve taken a place on the podium at each of their last six international events and also earned bronze medals in Jurmala, Paris and Cape Town.

Carol/Barbara (Brazil)

The team seeded second in the tournament is also from Brazil. Partners since 2021, 35-year-old veterans Carol Salgado and Barbara Seixas won the first-ever event on the inaugural Beach Pro Tour, the Tlaxcala Challenge. They went on to triumph at another Challenge tournament, in Doha, and also secured two silvers (Jurmala and Paris) and a bronze (Uberlandia) at the Elite16 level. Ranked second in the world, they progressed to the semifinals of their last four Beach Pro Tour events.

Schoon/Stam (Netherlands)

Young Dutch players Raisa Schoon, 21, and Katja Stam, 24, had two of the most remarkable victories in the Beach Pro Tour's first season. They were the first women to triumph at the Elite16 level, winning gold in Rosarito, after starting the tournament in the qualifier, and also topped the podium in Paris, at the iconic Roland Garros stadium. Ranked third in the world, Schoon and Stam, who first became partners in 2021, also won a pair of medals at Challenge events, claiming silver in Tlaxcala and Itapema.

Clancy/Mariafe (Australia)

Australian Olympic silver medallists Taliqua Clancy, 30, and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, 29, are the only team from the Asian Confederation to claim a spot at the Beach Pro Tour Finals. They rank fourth in the FIVB World Rankings and have shared the same side of the court in international events since 2018. The highlight of their Beach Pro Tour season was their victory at the Espinho Challenge, but they also made it to the podium at the Elite16 level, taking bronze in Gstaad and Torquay. The Australians also took silver at the Kuşadası Challenge, and made it to the podium in their last three events.

Anastasija/Tina (Latvia)

Latvian standouts Anastasija Samoilova (formerly Kravcenoka), 25, and Tina Graudina, 24, complete the world’s top five heading to Doha. The Tokyo Olympic semifinalists are yet to win their first Beach Pro Tour title, but had a solid season in 2022, taking silver at Elite16 events in Rosarito and Paris while also making it to the semifinals in Gstaad. Partners since 2016, the Latvians also had great success at the continental level, securing their second European title in the summer.

Brunner/Hüberli (Switzerland)

Swiss Olympians Nina Brunner, 27, and Tanja Hüberli, 30, are another European team to look out for and rank sixth in the world. The two have been on the same side of the court since 2016 and had another solid season in 2022, when they made it to the podium at two Elite16 events, taking silver in Hamburg and bronze in Ostrava. They also medalled at a Challenge tournament, claiming bronze in Doha. Brunner and Hüberli qualified for the final of the European Championships for a second-straight year, but had to settle for silver after losing to their Latvian rivals.

Tillmann/Müller (Germany)

The Germans’ first full season as partners generated great results. The 31-year-old Cinja Tillmann and the 21-year-old Svenja Müller did well enough to rank seventh in the world. Much of that was due to their bronze-medal campaign at the World Championships, but also to their success on the Beach Pro Tour, where they won the Elite16 tournament held in Ostrava. They also finished in the top ten at all seven international events they played at this year.

Kloth/Nuss (USA)

Up-and-coming 25-year-old Americans Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss had one of the most impressive campaigns in the inaugural season of the Beach Pro Tour. Partners since 2021, they started the season with no entry points and won the first tournament they played at, a Futures in Coolangatta. The two climbed another step with their victory at the Kuşadası Challenge (where they also started in the qualifier) and ended the season with top-five finishes at five consecutive Elite16 events, moving up to eighth place in the FIVB World Rankings.

Cheng/Hughes (USA)

Americans Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes, who are both 27, got back together towards the end of the season and made a great impression by winning both the Elite16 and the Challenge event held in Torquay, without dropping a single set. That helped the two players, who started their international careers together in 2015, earn one of the wild cards for the Finals. They both also had success earlier in the season with their previous partners; Cheng won gold at the Hamburg Elite16 with Betsi Flint while Hughes topped the podium at the Itapema Challenge with Kelley Kolinske.

Pavan/Bukovec (Canada)

A pair which is the outcome of recent changes among the top Canadian teams, 36-year-old Sarah Pavan and 27-year-old Sophie Bukovec will make their team debut in Doha after they were awarded a wild card for the Finals. A two-time Olympian and a world champion, Pavan won gold at the Jurmala Elite16 event in 2022 with former partner Melissa Humana-Paredes, with whom she also topped the podium at the Commonwealth Games. Bukovec had a brief but successful union with Brandie Wilkerson, with whom she claimed silver at last year's World Championships in Rome.