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Swiss Tanja’s pool winners after only one day in Apeldoorn

Swiss Tanja Hüberli and Tanja Goricanec topped their pool on the first day in Apeldoorn
Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, July, 16, 2014 – Tanja Goricanec and Tanja Hüberli surprised friends and foes on Wednesday when they became early pool winners with two spectacular wins on the first main draw day of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Transavia Grand Slam.

The Swiss qualifiers never even topped the pool at a grand slam before, but in Apeldoorn they claimed top position after defeating 7th seeded Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas (21-18, 10-21, 15-11) and 10th seeded Germans Laura Ludwig/Julia Sude (21-15, 16-21, 15-9).

“A huge surprise for us too. In Fuzhou we won the pool, but in a grand slam never”, Goricanec said right after the match against Brazil. “Both teams that we played today have good players. We knew that if we wanted to win today we had to serve really well. That was the key to winning.”

Thanks to the other results in the pool they secured a berth in the second elimination round as pool winners. Goricanec: “I am really happy that we won and it will be really relaxed tomorrow because we know we don’t have to win the next game and we can use it as a practice game.”

Both matches went into a tiebreak after the Swiss girls won the first set. They knew they could beat the Brazilians in their first match Wednesday morning. Hüberli: “We beat some top teams this year, we defeated Agatha and Seixas already this season in Fuzhou, and that made us realize it was possible to beat them.”

Goricanec: “We also knew that there were also opportunities in this game against Germany. Laura and Julia are really good players, but we knew this was their second tournament together.”

The Swiss team put the pressure on with their serve, but lost the second set against Ludwig and Sude. “We started really well, but then I had really trouble in the side-out”, Hüberli said. “I am lucky that I have a partner that can help me out. That’s our strength, that we are really strong as a team. We fight together for one goal and we are there for each other.”

Goricanec and Hüberli, seeded 26th in the Netherlands, are in their second season together. They mostly start in qualification, their best World Tour result was 5th in Moscow last year.

“Last year we had a lot of ups and downs, this year we are slowly going up, playing more consistent”, Goricanec said. “Second place at the European Championships this year gave us a lot of confidence. That was the start of our way up this year.”

The past two weeks the Swiss Tanja’s finished 9th in both Stavanger and Gstaad. Although nothing can surely top their home country venue in Gstaad the girls were pleasantly surprised by the Apeldoorn city centre venue.

“When we arrived here this morning, I was pleasantly surprised”, Hüberli said. “I like to play here, it’s even better than The Hague.” “It’s so friendly here”, Goricanec added. “So close, so intimate, the people here are nice. In Switzerland we always play in the city, so we feel good here.”

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