2016-11-03 14:14:00 CEST

2016 Flashback: Top seeds strut their stuff

May was a good month for the best in the business

Walsh/Ross and Ludwig/Walkenhorst – in action here at the smart Major Hamburg – won gold at the Antalya and Cincinnati Opens in May. Photocredit: Joerg Mitter.Walsh/Ross and Ludwig/Walkenhorst – in action here at the smart Major Hamburg – won gold at the Antalya and Cincinnati Opens in May. Photocredit: Joerg Mitter.

It was the most wonderful time of the year…preparation for the upcoming Swatch Major Series was in full swing and the crème de la crème of beach volleyball were flexing their muscles with some imperious performances.

Yes, we’re continuing our look-back at the 2016 season and we’ve reached May – where the women’s top seeds really began to stand out from the crowd with some extraordinary displays on the sand.

Between 10-15 May the elite travelled to Turkey for the Antalya Open and we saw the shape of things to come from German duo Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, as they swept all before them on their way to clinching gold. They didn’t drop a single set during the week and made light work of Finnish opponents Lehtonen/Lahti in the final.

A week later, top seeds were again ruling the roost. On home sand, April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings were in unstoppable form on their way to the top of the podium at the Cincinnati Open. The girls didn’t have it all their own way in the final – losing the first set to China’s Xue/Xia – but they showed their class to come back and record victory.

So two of the world’s most feared teams in the women’s game were gearing up well for a busy summer with success, but what about the boys?

Well, in Turkey there was a hollow victory in the final for Latvian stars Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins, as a knee injury to Lars Flüggen put pay to his and Markus Böckermann’s chances of gold. It was the second successive tournament in which a German team had forfeited in a final. When your luck’s out, your luck’s out. Insert your sad face emoji here.

The following week, in Cincinnati, top seeds Gibb/Patterson were knocked out in the quarterfinals so it was left to up-and-coming Brazilian stars Guto/Saymon to take the honors, the medals and the champagne, beating Canadians Binstock/Schachter in straight sets in the final. 

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