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Meppelink and Van Gestel shake of the jitters to remain unbeaten in The Hague

Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel in front of their fans and sponsors on centre court
The Hague, the Netherlands, June 12, 2013 – Corrientes champions Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel were so nervous for their first match at the Transavia The Hague Grand Slam that they almost threw up their breakfasts. It might have been the reason they lost the first set to Italian qualifiers Daniela Gioria and Laura Giombini.

After the wake-up call the Dutch girls shook off the nerves and finished the game 25-27 21-15 15-6. “It’s just that we have been performing so well, we really wanted to show our own audience what we can do. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves”, 23-year old Meppelink said. “It’s weird. Two weeks ago in the final of the Corrientes Grand Slam we were hardly nervous at all. And here in our own town we get the jitters.”

Their second match was clean, focussed and with hardly any mistakes in front of a huge crowd on centre court. Meppelink and Van Gestel overpowered Czech team Martina Bonnerova and Barbora Hermannova in two sets (21-13 21-16). Meppelink, who finished the match with one of her kill blocks: “After that first win we were at ease. It was a good game. Personally I think we could have done even better, but I am a perfectionist.”

Meet and greet

The Dutch team got a lot of support from fans and sponsors on centre court. The girls and their manager arranged a meet and greet after the evening match. “We really want to include our fans and sponsors on our fairytale way to Rio”, Meppelink said.

Asked about their chances of winning a second grand slam title this week,  Meppelink said: “I think it’s logical that everyone sees us as favourites for the title here in The Hague. But personally I don’t think we are.”

FIVB Transavia Grand Slam tournament page

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