Borger and Buthe aiming for more Stare Jablonki memories
First off the German duo defeated Canada’s Taylor Pischke and Melissa Humana-Paredes 2-0 (21-13, 21-14) and they followed that result with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) victory over Russia’s Alexandra Moiseeva and Evgenia Ukolova.
“They are both pretty good spikers and I think the first set was really tight and we served pretty well and that stopped them getting into their normal game.
“In the second game we made a lot of service errors and that allowed them to come back. They are a good team and they had a good side out, so they made it a real fight at the end.”
The pair have fond memories of the Polish venue having made their breakthrough at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships where they won silver, their first Beach Volleyball World Tour success.
In 2014 they have added silver at the Gstaad Grand Slam and bronze at the Berlin Grand Slam and have used the three week break since the Klagenfurt Grand Slam to train at home in Germany in preparation for Stare Jablonki.
“I think the memories aren’t only from last year,” Buthe said. “We always felt at home here; people are friendly, we like the courts, we like the sand and the atmosphere here.
“For sure we have great memories from last year, but also from years before and we’ve had top 10 results here, so it is a great place for us and we want to keep on making this place a good place for us.”
Slovakian pair riding tide of confidence
Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova showed their increasing confidence by claiming two wins from two.
First they defeated Canada’s Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan 2-1 (10-21, 21-16, 15-13) and then followed up with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) win over Sweden’s Camilla Nilsson and Tadva Yoken.
“The weather isn’t great for us, it’s a little windy and we don’t really like that, but it was important that we won the two games, so we are happy,” Dubovcova said.
“That is the first time we’ve played against them (Nilsson and Yoken), but they took Kolocova and Slukova (Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova, Czech Republic) to a tie-break so we knew we had to be careful and we had to play well.”
The 2014 World Tour has marked something of a breakthrough for Dubovcova and Nestarcova, who ended their wait for their first World Tour medals when they won bronze at the Stavanger Grand Slam.
They then won a second bronze at the Long Beach Grand Slam and their success has been reflected in their growing belief on court.
“It is much higher,” Nestarcova said. “Before Stavanger we had only finished in fifth place (quarterfinal) and it was really tough to get better than that.
“We always seemed to lose a close game, so to win your last game in a tournament and go home with a win is great.”
The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Stare Jablonki Grand Slam runs from Tuesday August 19 until Sunday August 24 when the men’s medal matches take place. It is the 13th event and the ninth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features 10 Grand Slams and nine Open tournaments.
The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Sao Paolo Grand Slam which runs from September 23-28.