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2017-08-23 07:30:00 CET

Five must see matches on day 1!

Get ready to rock the Rothenbaum…

Can Larissa/Talita finally beat Ludwig/Walkenhorst?Can Larissa/Talita finally beat Ludwig/Walkenhorst?

The wait is finally over! The Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone kicks off on Wednesday in Hamburg and boy are there some cracking matches to get stuck into the first day at the Rothenbaum.

In total 12 matches will wow the crowds, who will flock in their thousands to the iconic event location for what promises to be a superb opening day of action.

Every game showcases the best beach volleyball players in the world – the question is, which five of the dozen delightful games you should do all you can to catch? Well, here’s our quick guide!

Who? Pavan/Humana-Paredes v Bansley/Wilkerson

Where? Side court 2

When? 2pm

Why? Last season Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley were teammates – until they split just weeks before the Toronto Finals on home sand. Having found new teammates in Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson, the pair have battled for honors on the beach – with Sarah and Melissa enjoying the best of the success this season, which included gold at the Poreč Major. The two teams now go head-to-head in the first big game in the women’s Pool C. In the main draw play-off in Toronto 12 month ago, it was Brandie and Heather that secured victory – but will it be the same result on Wednesday?

 

Who? Doppler/Horst v Herrera/Gavira

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

When? 4pm CET

Why? The opening match of the tournament of the Red Bull Beach Arena showcases the popular Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst’s first game since they won silver at the World Championships in Vienna. Many Austrian fans are sure to travel to Hamburg to cheer on their heroes inside the Rothenbaum in their first game against experienced Spaniards Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera.

 

Who? Laboureur/Sude v Heidrich/Vergé-Dépré

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

When? 6pm CET

Why? German top seeds Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude are hoping to build on their fifth place finish in the Finals last year in Toronto by medalling on home sand. The Gstaad Major champions face a tough opening match in Hamburg, taking on Swiss stars Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé –Dépré. The two teams have only met once before – in Gstaad, which the Germans won in a thrilling semifinal. Which way will this one go? Whichever way it goes, the Red Bull Beach Arena crowd will be treated to another epic, that’s for sure.

 

Who? Larissa/Talita v Ludwig/Walkenhorst

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

When? 7pm CET

Why? Arguably the biggest game on day one, home favorites and Olympic and World champs Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst begin their defense of their World Tour Finals crown against Brazilian superstars Larissa Maestrini and Talita Antunes. The teams always tend to meet at the business end of the tournaments – at the Rio Olympics and in Vienna two weeks ago, the Germans have won both important semifinal meetings. Can the South Americans earn an early victory in Hamburg?

 

Who? Böckermann/Schümann v Saxton/Schalk

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

When? 9pm CET

Why? The final match of the day under the floodlights is sure to attract another big crowd as a new team – set-up especially for this tournament – Markus Böckermann and Lorenz Schümann of Germany get their first taste of World Tour Finals action against fellow wildcards Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada. The North Americans beat Alison/Bruno in the last-16 of the World Championships, proving they will be a force to be reckoned with on the Rothenbaum sand.

 

All five of these matches will be available to watch on BeachStream – sign-up or log in to get closer to the sand. Registration is free!

Don’t forget to check out the full match schedule right here for details of all 12 matches on Wednesday.

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