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Salgado sisters beat Germany to claim top position in pool C

Duel at the net between Brazil's Carolina Salgado (left) and Germany's Katrin Holtwick
The Hague, the Netherlands, June 13, 2013 – Maria Clara and Carolina Salgado defeated Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler on Thursday at the Transavia The Hague Grand Slam to claim top position in pool C. The Brazilian sisters, who now earned a bye in the first elimination round, needed three sets (21-14 17-21 15-9) to beat their rivals. Both teams booked two straight victories in the first two rounds.

On Thursday they had to deal not only with a strong opponent, but also with a strong gusty wind. “It was a crazy match with this wind”, Maria Clara said. “We just decided not to get annoyed, just have fun and see what would happen.”

Good serving was the key

The Brazilian team took the first set, serving really well. Holtwick and Semmler recovered in the second and took the lead from 11-11. Holtwick, who what trouble receiving in the first set, now served some aces herself. In the tiebreak Brazil got on top again. A net serve by Semmler finished the match at 15-9. Maria Clara: “We are so happy to finish as number one in the pool. In this weather it is so important to skip the first knockout round.”

The sisters just recently started playing together again, but already won two bronze medals this year, in Shanghai and Corrientes. “We did not expect to do so well after Carol was out for one year to give birth to her son Jose.” The little boy travels with them most of the time and at some events their mother will babysit. “We are very close now, with all our family, and with our brother Pedro (Solberg) also on the Tour.”

Better than before

According to Maria Clara things changed after their temporary break-up. “We came back better as a team. We have played together for so many years, maybe we needed a break.”

So far this season Maria Clara and Carol had to start in qualification, but they hope that this will change soon as they have been doing so well. About their expectations for The Hague Maria Clara said: “We did two thirds, so we want to do better this time. But with this wind you’ll never know.”

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