2018-08-16 20:37:00 CEST
Chantal and Julia off the mark on home sand!
They’ve had a long wait – longer than most teams – but Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude have finally got their first win over the Hamburg Finals.
The top German team were in superb form as they battled to a straight sets (24-22, 21-19) victory over reigning European Champions Sanne Keizer and Madeline Meppelink.
After their earlier defeat to Sara Hughes and Summer Ross of the USA, Chantal and Julia bounced back to triumph and get their tournament up and running.
And it came after a seesaw battle in the first set that saw them recover from three points down in the first set – and survive a set point.
“It was important to win of course,” said Chantal. “But every single point counts and I’m happy we made it. The first set saw us win a challenge and then take two points so it was ‘wow, those small things really make a difference’ and that was vital for us.”
The duo missed out on a medal when losing the battle for bronze in the last World Tour event in Moscow last weekend.
And having only started this tournament today after a day off on Wednesday, Chantal was happy the pair were able to reverse their fortunes after their setback earlier in the day.
“It was a lot of fun out there but we wanted to come back and change things after the loss to Sara and Summer,” added Chantal. “We were focused on turning things around and we succeed.
“I think our focus and attention was better in this match and we didn’t have so many ‘down moments’ in this match. Julia played good sideout and that made it fun for me to play!”
As the top seeds, all eyes are on the tandem to keep the World Tour Final gold in Germany after Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig’s triumph 12 months ago.
So do the duo feel the weight of the nation on their shoulders?
“Yes we do feel a bit of pressure,” admitted Chantal. “We try not to bring it on ourselves, but that’s difficult because we put pressure on ourselves to do well. We try as much as possible to forget all of the outside influences as much as possible.”
The crowd favorites’ next challenge comes against in-form Canadians Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley, with the Germans taking to the Red Bull Beach Arena at 6pm CEST. Watch that game – and more – on day three of the tournament live on BeachStream.