2018-08-18 19:52:00 CEST
Agatha and Duda come back and advance to play Carol and Maria Antonelli
For the second straight year, the the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals Hamburg 2018 presented by Vodafone will have an all-Brazilian semifinal in the women’s tournament as Agatha Bednarcuzk and Duda Lisboa are set to face Carolina Solberg and Maria Elisa Antonelli on Sunday, the last day of the tournament in the German harbour city.
While their opponents advanced directly to the semifinals after they topped Pool A, Agatha and Duda, the silver medalists of last year, had a longer route as they needed to play another three sets (12-21, 21-14, 15-9) win Germans Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude to qualify.
The game was a real test for the 20-year-old Duda, who had early struggles in the first set, but managed to come back strong after that. The day before, when the Brazilians had their only loss in Hamburg so far, to Australia’s Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy, the defender couldn’t get back to her best form after a rough start.
It was all fixed with an important call to Brazil.
“It was a learning experience for me,” she said after the game. “I was in the same situation of yesterday, but this time I could keep my mind clear and count on Agatha to help me. Last night I talked to our coaching staff and I thought it would be a good idea to call our psychologist. She helped me to keep positive and to understand how to get out of that situation and it’s amazing to see how differently I handled with it now.”
It’s the second consecutive semifinal appearance for the duo in Hamburg and the third for the 35-year-old Agatha, who claimed the silver medal in the 2016 Hamburg Major. To get to another final, the blocker and Duda will have to overcome a 3-2 negative record against Maria Antonelli and Carol.
“It’s my third year playing here in Hamburg and it’s amazing to be in the semifinals again,” the veteran said. “Tomorrow it will be a big fight. The Brazilians are great, they are playing very well and they got more time to rest than we do. We know each other very well and it will be about the details, but the most important thing is that it will be a great game.”
The Brazilian semifinal will be the second of the women’s tournament and is scheduled to 10am. One hour earlier, Artacho and Clancy will play Czech Republic’s Markéta Slukova and Barbora Hermannová. The gold medal match starts as 2pm.
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