London, Great Britain, August 2, 2012 – Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig booked themselves a place in the round of 16 with their second win in three matches at the London 2012 Olympic Games. They defeated The Netherland’s Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel to avoid the lucky loser round.
The German’s were in control early on and Ludwig was on top form with her defence at the back of the court. She maintained that form in the second set and with Goller in control at the net, they finished with a 21-18, 21-14 victory.
"I'm really relieved,” Goller said. “It's not like coming third and having to play the lucky loser round late at night, which is very stressful.
“So now we have time off and can relax, get our bodies sorted, be happy and see what the draw brings tomorrow. We can't do any tactical stuff as we don't know who we're playing next."
British pair Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin will have to go through the lucky loser round after they finished pool play with one win and two losses. They lost their third match to Russian duo Ekaterina Khomyakova and Evgenia Ukolova.
The Russians 25-23, 21-13 win leaves the British duo to wait and see who they will be drawn against in the lucky loser round.
“Our passing was not consistent,” Khomyakova said. “This is the first time for both of us in front of such a large British crowd. Even though this was good for the British team, we had to stick to our game plan.”
There wan epic clash between USA’s April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, and Spain’s Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo as Pool D came to a close.
The Americans took the lead after the first set, but the Spaniards fought back to draw level in the second. At the end of the third Fernandez and Baquerizo had two match points, but Ross and Kessy saved both of them. They then had two match points that the Spanish saved, but on the third Ross and Kessy wrapped up a 21-19, 19-21, 19-17 victory and first place in the pool.
“Every match feels like a tough battle and that was the toughest one yet,” Ross said. “It wasn’t looking good at the end, but Jen came out with a great dig. I know some top-ranked teams have finished second, so I hope this first place helps us out now.”
Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes also completed a clean sweep of their pool play matches with a 18-21, 21-16, 15-9 win over Australia’s Becchara Palmer and Louise Bawden.
“We have a long way to go and now we have to forget about this game,” Maria Antonelli said. “We have to concentrate on the next one because if you lose you are out.”
In the men’s competition Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira recovered from their loss to defending champions Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser earlier in the tournament to record their second win.
The Spaniards were pushed hard by Japan’s Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori, but ultimately proved too strong and a Gavira block earned them a 21-19, 22-20 win that sends the Japanese out of the Olympics.
“I was very impressed with the Japanese. They served excellently,” Herrera said.” Adrian and I overcame the strength of the Japanese serve (early in the second set) and this helped us to win.”
Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik secured their place in the lucky loser round with a 20-22, 21-15, 15-11 win over Venezuela’s Igor Hernandez and Jesus Villafane. While it meant the South Americans were eliminated, they did at least win their first set of the tournament.
"We are very, very happy to be here. We enjoyed being here,” Villafane said.
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