Spanish duo find form to beat world champs
The Spanish pair lost the opening set after the Dutch duo started strongly. After a slow start to the second they turned it around midway through to draw level.
The Dutch again started strongly in the tie-break, but from 12-9 down Herrera and Gavira scored five consecutive points to go to match point and though Brouwer and Meeuwsen saved one, the Spaniards didn’t waste the second.
“It was a very tense match and we were a little bit nervous,” Herrera said. “Of course the Dutch guys played very well and are very strong.”
“They started very well in the tie-break and in the first set,” Gavira added. “Once we were able to neutralise their threat we were able to take control.”
Herrera and Gavira now need to beat Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Janis Peda to guarantee their progression to the elimination rounds.
USA’s Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson beat the Spaniards and Plavins and Peda on Thursday and will now face Brouwer and Meeuwsen on Friday.
“We’re very happy and it was good, but it will all count for nothing if we don’t win tomorrow,” Gavira said. “We played well and it’s good to beat the world champions, but we need to win tomorrow.”
Windschief and Dollinger enjoying mountain life
German pair Stefan Windschief and Sebastian Dollinger had a smoother start to the tournament when they recorded a brace of wins.
First off they beat Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Jonas Weingart, then followed that result up later in the day by beating Austria’s Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl.
“I like Gstaad; it is my favourite tournament with Klagenfurt,” Windschief said. “I like to play here, it is really great and we had a good day today. We’ll take it match to match and see what happens.”
The duo’s success continues the good form of German teams. In the recent FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013, two German pairs returned with medals.
Karla Borger and Britta Buthe won silver in the women’s competition, while Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik won bronze in the men’s.
“I’m happy that they won the bronze and silver medals, especially the girls,” Windschief said. “They reached their first semifinals in Rome and of course for Kay and Jonathan it was their best result.”
The Gstaad Grand Slam is the fifth Grand Slam of 10 on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The tournament began with women’s qualifying on Tuesday July 9 and ends with women’s and men’s medal matches on Sunday July 14.
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