Kiwis battle hard in Brazil
Ben O'Dea and Brad Fuller battled hard in Brazil on Saturday. Photo by

Kiwis battle hard in Brazil

Kiwis Brad Fuller and Ben O’Dea battled hard in the Saquarema Challenge event on Saturday (NZ time), two very tight three-set losses seeing the duo exit the competition at the pool stage.

After qualifying for the main draw on Friday, Fuller and O’Dea opened their Pool A schedule with the first match of the day on Centre Court against Brazil’s Pedro Solberg/Guto, ranked 15 in the world.

The Kiwis dropped the first set 18-21 before levelling in the second by the same score. The third set was again evenly-matched before the Brazilian combination eventually claimed a 20-18 result.

Backing up in their next match, Fuller and O’Dea then faced world number 21 American duo Schalk and Bourne. The Kiwis took the tight first set 26-24 before the Americans recovered for a 21-18 second set win. The USA team completed the job in the third set - 15-12.

New Zealand’s Fuller & O’Dea and women’s combination Shaunna Polley and Alice Zeimann now move to the Asian Tour in Thailand for April 13.

Several other Kiwi duos are in action next week on the Asian Tour in the Philippines – Olivia MacDonald/Danielle Quigley, Katie Sadlier/Meile Green and Juraj Krajci/James Sadlier.

On Friday, two Kiwi pairs were in action in qualifying:

- Ben O'Dea and Brad Fuller won their two matches to qualify - seeing off Estonia in their first game before advancing with a 2-0 victory over a French combination.

- Alice Zeimann & Shaunna Polley took care of Argentina in 3 sets in their first match before falling to a Canadian pair in their second game.

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