Walkenhorsts enjoy sunshine and Beach Volleyball in Shanghai
Shanghai, China, May 3, 2014 - Alexander Walkenhorst wrapped up his second journey to the Shanghai Grand Slam with a ninth finish with his new partner Stefan Windscheif on Friday.
After pulling off an upset 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 15-12) victory over Brazil’s sixth seeds Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt in the first round of the knock-out stage, Walkenhorst/ Windscheif lost to Fuzhou Open champions Paolo Nicolai/Daniele Lupo from Italy 2-0 (28-26, 21-18), missing the chance to reach the quarter-finals of the first Grand Slam event of the season.
“We have played to our standard,” said the 20th-seeded Walkenhorst, who had had a 17th finish with former teammate Eric Koreng last year in Shanghai. “We are a new team; we just need more time to know each other. But the result looks not bad, right?”
Walkenhorst enjoyed playing in the sunshine on the City Beach of Jinshan, Shanghai, and vowed to come back for better results in the future.
“It’s the second time I come to Shanghai. I like this city very much. I will be back and win the games as all you are looking forward to,” he said.
Unlike other beach volleyball players, Alexander never wears sunglasses and cap during the matches. ”I enjoy the sunshine and I can look directly at the sun. I like beach and volleyball very much,” said the 25-year-old Alexander. “You know, I’m not as young as the girls who are sitting behind us. Maybe I can play it until 34 years old.”
Alexander is confident in his cooperation with Windscheif. “My partner was the best one I have never met. He is quick and fast, though we cooperate the first time this season, we will get together for a long time.”
Coming off the tough match against the Italian duo, Walkenhorst could rest his legs and cheer for his sister Kira Walkenhorst, who teamed with Laura Ludwig to beat Slovakia’s Dominika Nestarcova/Natalia Dubovcova 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) Friday afternoon to reach women’s top 16.
“My sister also played beach volleyball here,” he said it proudly. ”She was the most improved player (FIVB) last year.”
Alexander and Kira were from a volleyball family. “My father was indoor volleyball player. When I was 6 years old, I began to play beach volleyball with him, so do my younger sister Kira,” said Alexander. “Although we are both playing beach volleyball now, we never practiced together when we were young. But we are both happy with it.”
Kira and Ludwig went on to beat Brazil’s star duo Juliana Silva/Maria Antonelli in straight sets (21-19, 21-14) Saturday morning as Alexander flied back to Germany.
“Although he lost yesterday, I am still proud of him,” said Kira. “Before the match he encouraged me to be cool and he told me not to think about the result and just enjoy it. I have made fun with him about the result of losing the match yesterday. As you know, we have no secret. We are brother and sister.”
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