Sanya is this week’s battleground for the women

This week’s stop will be in Sanya, the southernmost city on the island of Hanai, located in the South China Sea. The first round of the main draw starts on Thursday, with the final match being played on Sunday.

Favourites to finish first in Sanya are FIVB Heroes Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta as well as the local heroes Chen Xue and her partner Zhang Xi. Chen and Zhang won last week’s tournament in Brazil, causing an upset by beating the Brazilians in the semis in front of their home crowd. Larissa and Juliana will aim to repeat last year’s performance here and exact their revenge by doing the same to the Chinese this week.

Also out for revenge is the second Brazilian top team Talita and Maria Antonelli, who will try to replicate their strong performance of last week, when they made their way up to the finals undefeated. Only the Chinese were able to overcome them in the final.

The Chinese fans will be hoping to see a final as dramatic as last year, when Larissa and Juliana won a thrilling three-set match against Xue and Zhang Xi, although they hope, of course, that the result is reversed this time!