Borger and Büthe make history reaching the final four at the World Championships
They prevented an all-American semifinal with a 2-1 win (17-21 21-16 15-11) over American veterans Lauren Fendrick and Brittany Hochevar. The Germans will play another US team, second seeded April Ross and her new partner Whitney Pavlik for a spot in the final.
In the other semifinal top seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang from China take on Brazil’s Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas.
Germans have nothing to lose
Borger and Büthe defeated Dubovcova and Nestarcova from Slovakia 2-0 (21-17 21-12) in the morning but lost their first set in the quarterfinal match against USA.
“The first set was very difficult because they served very well”, Borger said. “But the next set we were more concentrated. I am extremely happy now, because we are the first German team to qualify for the semifinals of a World Championship.”
Borger and Büthe booked their career’s best result, 4th place, just recently at the Grand Slam in Rome. “So we are very happy we did it again”, Büthe said. “But the tournament is not over yet. We have nothing to lose now.”
China set on bettering third place at Rome World Champs
China’s Xue and Zhang Xi are set on improving their third place at the last World Championships in Rome, they said after straight wins against Vanuatu’s Miller Elwin and Henrietta Iataka (22-20 21-11) and Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst (21-15 21-15) to reach the semifinals.
“We really want to do better than our third place in Rome, so we keep on working hard and improving our game”, Xue said.
The Chinese, who are competing at their fourth World Championships, did not play in Corrientes, The Hague or Rome and are not at their best yet but are slowly reaching form.
“We had to adjust to the level of the World Tour again, having played with a different ball and shorter players on the national tour in China”, Xue said. “But today we stayed calm even when we lost a few points in a row and we did not rush and never gave up, so that’s good.”
USA’s only target is gold
“It was the hardest match I ever played”, USA’s Pavlik said after their 2-1 (19-21 21-19 15-13) win over Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger. Ross and Pavlik reached the quarterfinals with only straight wins, but had to hand over one set to the Schwaiger sisters.
“Austria played really aggressive and we were in trouble many times. They played a really fast game. But in the end we won."
Pavlik was taken by surprise when former volleyball team mate Ross, who won the world title in 2009 with Jennifer Kessy, asked her only a few days before the start of the event to fill in for injured Kessy.
Her best result on the World Tour so far was 25th at the Rome Grand Slam this year and she had never played at a World Championship before. "But our only target is the gold medal now.”
Heart and soul for Brazil
Brazil’s new team Lili and Seixas put their heart and soul into their quarterfinal against Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti (20-22 21-15 15-13).
“I am so happy, I never felt like this in my life”, Lili said in tears. “The match was very emotional, this is Brazilian emotions. This is one of the best days of my life, I had all my heart in this game.”
Lili and Seixas teamed up only this year, but won gold together as juniors at the U21 World Championships in 2007.
“We talk a lot about this tournament we played together in 2007. It’s weird, now we are back together again at a World Championship again, playing against the same girls we played at the U21 and winning. That’s fantastic”, Seixas said.
After their excellent third place at the Rome Grand Slam just a few days ago reaching the final four is no surprise to them, Lili said. “Because we worked hard and I believe in our work. If you put all your good vibes, all your heart and body in your work you can have a good result.”
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