FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Antalya Open | 20 - 25 October 2015

#AntalyaOpen


Press release

Italy and Czech Republic in Antalya Open women’s final


First final for Czech pair Barbora Hermannova (left) and Marketa Slukova

Antalya, Turkey, October 24, 2015 – Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth will take on Czech pair Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova Saturday afternoon for the gold medal at the inaugural Antalya Open.

The first seeded Italians defeated Argentina’s third seeded Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-13) in the semifinal.

It is the third final in their career, after winning the Sochi Open in September and finishing second at the Sao Paulo Grand Slam last year. And it is also the third time in a row they will end up on the podium since the Italians, who skipped Xiamen, won bronze in Puerto Vallarta.

Menegatti and Orsi Toth had a flying start against the Xiamen silver medallists from Argentina, but struggled in the second, making too many unforced errors. In the end of the tiebreak the Italians managed to create a two-point gap at 14-12 and were handed the win on their second match point by Gallay who bumped the ball out of court.

“I think they played much better in the second set and we didn’t play our best beach volleyball”, Menegatti recapped. “But I think the important thing is we won and it’s always good to end up with a win when you don’t play your best. We’re in the final, so it’s good.”

It was the first time Menegatti and Orsi Toth lost a set this tournament. It was straight wins all the way to the semis. Orsi Toth: “We were very focussed this week. But in the semifinal it was a bit up and down. But we will come back this afternoon more focussed.”

Surprise final for new Czech team

For their opponents Slukova and Hermannova reaching the final with a 2-1 (16-21, 21-15, 15-13) win over USA’s Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day was a big surprise. The 13th seeded Czechs only teamed up in August and weren’t sure until the last moment if Slukova could play in Turkey because she sprained her ankle in Xiamen. So far fifth place in Sochi was their best finish.

But it was Slukova who saved the day in the semifinal. The 27-year old put a lot of the pressure on the Americans with her serve. “She’s such an experienced player and she showed on it the court today”, Hermannova praised her partner.

This tactic didn’t work in the first set though, where they were trailing 16-8 through the middle. But the Czechs recovered nicely. Slukova: “We just stayed together and we are both fighters, we don’t give up easily. We served better in the second set. That was the key, that was our tactic. The Americans are a great team and if you don’t keep them away from the net they will make their side-out.”

“I didn’t expect to be in the final already”, added Hermannova, who won the Mangaung Open last year with Martina Bonnerova. “But it’s amazing because last year I ended up in the final in the last tournament as well. So I am totally happy.”

 

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