From country quota to the final in just one year for Walkenhorst
Germany's Kira Walkenhorst made it to her first World Tour final|
Moscow, Russia, August 25, 2013 - Germany’s Kira
Walkenhorst moved up from losing in country quota to the final of the FIVB
Moscow Grand Slam in just one year.
Walkenhorst and her new partner since this season, Laura Ludwig, reached the
final by defeating Italy’s new team Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth 2-0
(21-16, 21-10) on Sunday morning.
At 18.30 the Germans will play Brazil’s Maria Clara and Carolina Salgado for
Ludwig is going to add another Russian medal to the bronze she won with Sara
Goller in Moscow in 2009, but for Walkenhorst this will be her first medal
ever, after they missed out on one in Gstaad (4th) this year.
“I am so happy. Last year I played my first Grand Slam in Moscow and I played
only one country quota match and now I am in the final. It’s going so fast and
I am so happy we won this game.”
“I was so nervous. Now we are sure of our first medal and we can just play and
have fun and try to get the gold medal. We will see.”
Ludwig and Walkenhorst were by far the better team in the semifinal against
Italy. Especially in the second set young Menegatti and Orsi Toth, only playing
their second event together, could not follow. Germany created a huge gap in
the second set, moving up from 7-3 to 13-3 and again from 16-5 to 19-5.
“We won the first set and after that we played more freely, had more confidence
and that’s why we won. We served better and had good block-defence”,
Walkenhorst and Ludwig have played the Salgado-sisters once before, in Berlin.
“We won 2-1. It was a really close game. But this is a new tournament and a new
Remarkable recovery for Brazil
Maria Clara and Carolina made a remarkable recovery this week in Moscow. From
almost out in pool play they marched all the way up to the final.
On Friday they were already booking a ticket home, because they lost two of
their pool matches and thought they were out.
“We did not know how to make the counts in the pool”, Carolina said. “So we
thought we were out, no chance. We made it by only one point after all and then
we said if we are so lucky, we need to make it work, give something back.”
“So this is a special moment for us”, Maria Clara added. In the semifinal they
overpowered Spain's Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan 2-0
(21-18, 21-14) with aggressive serving and attacks, targeting Baquerizo most of
the time. The Spanish defence player had trouble with her side-out.
“We watched many videos yesterday and I think our tactic worked”, Carolina
The Salgados already won two silvers and two bronzes this year coming back
after Carolina’s gave birth to a baby boy. “So we are looking for a gold medal
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