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All-Brazilian women’s final in The Hague

Second 2013 final for Taiana Lima and Talita Antunes
The Hague, the Netherlands, June 15, 2013 – The Transavia The Hague Grand Slam, the first ever Grand Slam in the Netherlands, will have an all-Brazilian women’s final on Sunday. Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima take on Maria Clara and Carolina Salgado on centre court at the Scheveningen beach at 3 pm.

The Salgado sisters reached their first ever Grand Slam final by defeating Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler in three sets (21-12 13-21 15-13). After one set each, it got down to business in the tiebreak. It could have gone either way, until the Brazilians took the lead at 12-12 with a lucky serve and finished the game at their second match point.

Long time partners Maria Clara and Carol came back strong this season after Carol gave birth to a baby boy last year. They won bronze in Shanghai and Corrientes and this time they hoped for more. “After two bronze medals we really wanted to play in the final”, Maria Clara said after their semi-final. “Today it could have gone either way, and we were very lucky with Carol’s serve at the end.”

Whole different ball game

Their opponents in the final, Talita and Lima, had a much easier match against the Dutch team Jantine van der Vlist and Marloes Wesselink. The Dutch, in their first ever semifinal, were no match for Brazil: 21-14 21-13. “I think we controlled the ball better than the other team”, Talita said. “In this wind you really need a quick ball. It’s totally different volleyball in these conditions.”

After first place in Shanghai and ninth in Corrientes Talita and Lima aim for gold again. Talita won medals in all previous Open events in The Hague. With Maria Antonelli she took the silver in 2009, gold in 2010 and bronze in 2011.

She looks forward to play Brazil in the final. “At least we will have a Brazilian champion again.” In 2011 Brazil’s Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta won the event after defeating USA’s Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Both teams retired this season.

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