With the 10 Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slams, the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and two of four FIVB Opens completed, Latvia and Brazil have teams leading the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball Season Rankings after last week’s double-gender $440,000 FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam, the final Grand Slam of the season.

This week the women of the FIVB will be in Phuket, Thailand for a single-gender FIVB Open event. The final 2013 FIVB Open event will be a double-gender tournament from December 11 to 15 in Durban, South Africa.

Part of the numerous initiatives of the new FIVB administration, the FIVB Season Rankings include FIVB World Tour/FIVB Open events along with approved Confederation, and National Federation points according to section 9.3 of the FIVB Handbook.

Continuing to lead the 2013 FIVB Season Rankings are Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins for the men and Brazil’s Taiana Lima/Talita Antunes for the women.

For the men in China last week at the final FIVB World Tour Grand Slam of the season, Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Vitor Felipe won their first FIVB World Tour event together by defeating world champions Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in three sets. It was the 11th career gold medal for Alison and the second for Vitor who is a rookie this season and his other win was earlier this year with a different teammate – Evandro Goncalves.

On the women’s side in Xiamen, April Ross/Kerri Walsh Jennings, of the United States won their second consecutive FIVB World Tour Grand Slam together by defeating Brazil’s Taiana Lima/Talita Antunes in another three-setter. This was Ross’ 12th career FIVB World Tour gold medal and Walsh Jennings’ 46th, tying her with Brazil’s Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Silva for the all-time lead in FIVB beach volleyball history.

Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins lead the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball Season Rankings with 6,990 points, followed by Brazil’s Pedro Salgado/Bruno Schmidt, Brazil (6,740) while third through sixth place are: Italy’s Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai(5,940), Netherlands’ Brouwer/Meeuwsen, Netherlands (5,930), Brazil’s Alvaro Filho/Ricardo Santos, (5,730) and USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, United States (5,610).

In the FIVB women’s beach volleyball competition, Brazil’s Lima/Antunes are out front with 7,210 points, followed by Germany’s Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, Germany, (6,474) while third through sixth-place currently are: Brazil’s Carolina Salgado/Maria Clara Salgado, (6,100), Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, (5,842), Brazil’s Maria Antonelli/Agatha Bednarczuk (5,740) and Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez, (5,352).

Following last week’s $440,000 FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam, two teams from beach volleyball superpower Brazil remain at the top of the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour/FIVB Open leader board heading into the final two FIVB Open events of the season.

Continuing on top in the men’s FIVB World Tour/FIVB Open season point standings is Brazil’s new team of Salgado/ Schmidt while continuing to lead the women’s FIVB World Tour/FIVB Open competition is another new Brazilian team in Lima/Antunes.

Counting the FIVB Xiamen Grand Slam, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt have collected 6,340 points on the 2013 FIVB World Tour/FIVB Opens and their lead over Latvia’s second-place Samoilovs/J. Smedins is 200 points. Third is Brazil’s Ricardo Santos/Alvaro Filho with USA’s Gibb/Patterson in fourth place. In the men’s season earnings race, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt lead with with $182,775. Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins is in second with $175,200 followed by Brazil’s Ricardo/Filho with $153,900 and. All three of the top teams are playing in their first full season together and Ricardo didn’t play one tournament because of an injury.

In 2013 FIVB women’s international competition, Brazil’s Lima/Antunes duo has been superlative and continues to lead the 2013 FIVB World Tour/FIVB Opens with 7,050 points and $219,900 in earnings. Brazilian Salgado sisters are second with $149,500 in earnings. Germany’s Holtwick/ Semmler is third in money with $125,600. Fourth in earnings ($123,200) is Germany’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst.

Statistically in FIVB men’s international competition, Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt duo has a 54-17 match record so far for a 76.1% winning percentage, third highest on the FIVB World Tour/FIVB Opens. Based on winning percentage to date for FIVB World Tour and FIVB Open events, USA’s Sean Rosenthal/Phil Dalhausser duo remain first at 81.8% (36-8), followed by Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins at 79.4% (54-14), and Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt. At number four is Italy’s Nicolai/Lupo at 73.4% (47-17), while fifth is USA’s Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson tandem at 70.5% (43-18).

In this year’s women’s FIVB World Tour/FIVB Open play, Brazil’s Lima/Antunes duo has the second highest winning percentage at 85.9% (61-10) as China’s Xue/Zhang have played in four of 12 events this year and have an amazing 92.6% (25-2) to lead. Third is Germany’s Holtwick/Semmler at 75.0% (51-17), followed by Brazil’s Bednarczk/Antonelli at 73.9% (51-18) and Brazil’s Salgado sisters at 73.9% (51-18).

With Dalhausser/Rosenthal (Fuzhou, Rome, Long Beach) having won three gold medals on the FIVB men’s FIVB World Tour/FIVB Open scorecard, Latvia’s Smedins/Samoilovs (Corrientes, Moscow) and Brazil’s Salgado/Schmidt (The Hague, São Paulo) with two gold medals each, USA’s Gibb/Patterson (Shanghai), Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Stare Jablonki), Brazil’s Santos/Filho (Gstaad), Russia’s Yaroslav Koshkarev/Konstantin Semenov (Anapa), Brazil’s Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves (Berlin), Brazil’s Alison Cerutti/Felipe each have one gold medal.

On the FIVB women’s international season scorecard, Brazil’s Antunes/Lima (Shanghai, The Hague, Rome, Long Beach, Berlin) have a remarkable five gold medals while China’s Xue/Zhang team has won three gold medals in four tournaments this year (Fuzhou, Stare Jablonki, Gstaad), USA’s A. Ross/Walsh Jennings duo has won two straight (São Paulo, Xiamen) while Brazil’s Salgado sisters (Moscow), Netherlands’ van Gestel/Meppelink (Corrientes), Russia’s Ekaterina Khomyakova/Evgeniya Ukolova (Anapa) each has one gold medal.

The 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour was comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Not part of the World Tour but counting towards FIVB points/earnings are four Open events (three double-gender tournaments and one women-only).