FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Shanghai PPTV Grand Slam | 29 avril - 4 mai 2014

#ShanghaiGS


Press release

Ludwig/Walkenhorst clinch first ever Grand Slam title in Shanghai


Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst end golden drought in Shanghai

Shanghai, China, May 4, 2014 – Germany’s second seeds Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst held off Chinese dark horses Wang Fan/Yue Yuan in the thrilling full-set women’s final of the Shanghai Grand Slam Sunday afternoon to clinch their first ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour title.

Having taken nine silver and six bronze medals in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the 28-year-old Ludwig finally touched the gold with the 2-1 (23-21, 19-21, 15-9) victory in the rain.

“I’m so happy because there was a long time no winning the tournament. A lot of finals, always lost,“ said Ludwig. “I’m really happy especially because it’s a Grand Slam and it was a big thing and it’s the second year with Kira and we were doing a good job. I am so happy.“

It was also the first World Tour triumph for Walkenhorst, who had reaped two silvers and one bronze in four previous final four appearance in World Tour events. Bouncing back from a 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) upset loss to Australian qualifiers Nicole Laird and Mariafe Artacho in the opening pool play on Thursday, Ludwig/Walkenhorst claimed seven wins in a row to land the title of the first Grand Slam event of the season.

“It’s an amazing tournament. All the best teams were here and there were a lot of surprises, a lot of surprise winners and a lot of surprise losers. We have proved that we can compete and I can’t wait playing with Kira in the next World Tour tournament.”

Roared on by full-packed home fans in the Jinshan City Beach Stadium, the Chinese duo jumped to a 12-6 lead in the first set, but the German pair soon answered with a 5-0 run to pull within 12-11. Then Yue Yuan came up big with three aces in a row to cap a 4-0 burst of China that pushed them up to 17-12. However, Ludwig/Walkenhorst steaidly pulled it back at 18-all before overtaking the lead at 20-19. Wang/Yue beat off two set points, only to find Ludwig convert on the third with a nice spike.

“It was really hard for us because the fans were really loud cheering for the Chinese players,“said Ludwig. “We were not really focused from the beginning, but we kept fighting, tried to communicate more and tried to serve better and that worked. We got some points in a row and this made the Chinese players nervous. We were fighting till the end and it worked for us.“

Trailing by 16-13 in the second set, Wang/Yue ran off six points in a row including three straight blocks of Wang against Ludwig to overtake the lead at 19-16 and went on to level it at 1-1. In the tiebreaker, the Chinese seemed to be running out of steam as Ludwig/Walkenhorst pulled away from a 5-5 tie for a 11-6 lead and never looked back.

Wang and Yue, who had already secured their best results at the World Tour by making the semi-finals on Saturday, could be satisfied with the silver medal.

“For sure we were the underdogs in the final and we just wanna try our best,“ said the 26-year-old Yue. “Leading or trailing, we just fought point by point.“

“It’s already our best result and best performance,“ Wang said. “I was quite nervous because it’s our first final. At least we have tried our best and showed how well we can play.“

Earlier on Sunday, Wang/Yue upset Brazil’s sixth seeds Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas De Freitas 2-1 (20-22, 21-17, 15-10) to reach the final while Agatha/Seixas recovered soon enough to beat defending champions Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima in an all-Brazilian clash 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) to take home the bronze medal.

It was the first Grand Slam medal for Agatha/Seixas, whose previous best was a third place at the Bangsaen Open in 2012.

“We really enjoy playing here in Shanghai. Last year we could not play together and this year we continued our partnership. We are very happy with this medal and hopefully we can go step by step and improve our game,“ said Seixas.

Talita, who had been crowned in Shanghai with Renata Martins Ribeiro, Maria Antonelli and Lima in 2008, 2009 and 2013 respectively, settled for the fourth place with Lima this time following a fifth finish at the season-opening Fuzhou Open last week.

After the conclusion of the first Grand Slam event of the season, the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour will continue in Mexico with the Puerto Vallarta Open next week.

The 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar features a record purse of US$10.2 million with a season that extends from late April to mid-December competing at 21 venues in 18 countries. This year’s FIVB World Tour includes a record 10 FIVB Grand Slam events, the inaugural Grand Slam Finale and 11 FIVB Open Tournaments throughout the world, helping expand the door for development of the sport even further.

The 10 FIVB Grand Slam competitions, all double-gender, have eight with $800,000 in total purses while both The Hague, Netherlands and the Long Beach, Calif., USA event will have $1 million each in prize money, the most in FIVB Grand Slam history.

 

Shanghai Grand Slam Tournament Page

Shanghai Grand Slam Tournament Notes

2014 Beach Volleyball Media Guide

Men's Results

Women's Results


Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
08.05.2014 09:47:58
Chinese beach volleyball pair Li Jian and Chen Cheng answer fan questions

Lausanne, Switzerland, May 8, 2014 – Chinese beach volleyball fans were in for a treat this year, as the first two FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour ev... More...

04.05.2014 23:42:07
FIVB World Tour season update after two events in China

Lausanne, Switzerland, May 4, 2014 - Following two very busy and exciting weeks in China, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) has succe... More...

03.05.2014 12:31:23
Nicolai/Lupo land back-to-back World Tour title in Shanghai

Shanghai, China, May 3, 2014 – Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo of Italy rallied past Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins 2-1 (24-26, 21-18, 15-... More...

03.05.2014 09:14:21
Defending champs Talita/Lima storm into Shanghai Grand Slam semis

03.05.2014 07:15:10
Walkenhorsts enjoy sunshine and Beach Volleyball in Shanghai

02.05.2014 12:52:50
Pedro/Emanuel claim full-set thriller to make Shanghai Grand Slam semis

02.05.2014 11:22:33
Home favorites Xue/Xia crash out of Shanghai Grand Slam

02.05.2014 02:49:06
Emanuel never stops love for beach volleyball

01.05.2014 12:33:11
Australian qualifiers Artacho/Laird shine at Shanghai Grand Slam

01.05.2014 08:58:13
Gibb/Patterson lead three American teams into Shanghai Grand Slam top 16

30.04.2014 11:39:35
Lucky losers Bourne/Hyden start well in Shanghai Grand Slam Main Draw

30.04.2014 09:02:19
Hermannova/Bonnerova make Shanghai Grand Slam Main Draw with upset win

29.04.2014 15:39:01
Brazil’s Ricardo/Alvaro withdraw from Shanghai Grand Slam

29.04.2014 14:38:33
Juliana/Antonelli start from qualification tournament again

29.04.2014 11:10:01
Vitor/Evandro battle into Shanghai Grand Slam Main Draw

28.04.2014 20:04:11
Talking Stats: 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

28.04.2014 14:33:23
Vitor/Evandro lead men’s qualifiers at Shanghai Grand Slam

28.04.2014 06:31:16
2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour underway in China

28.04.2014 01:15:47
2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour at FIVB Shanghai PPTV Grand Slam

03.04.2014 23:39:36
World Championships medallists lead German teams at Shanghai Grand Slam

30.01.2014 16:30:29
2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour ready for more highlights in record-breaking year