Canadian pair keep World Champs momentum rolling
The Canadians came back from losing the opening set to beat Sweden’s Hannes Brinkborg and Stefan Gunnarsson 2-1 (15-21, 21-18, 15-12).
“Sweden was on fire and playing really, really well,” Schalk said. “To be honest we had quite a slow start in the first set. We weren’t really prepared to go and it took us a while to find our legs on the court.
“Midway through the second set we turned it up a lot and from then on we controlled the play. It took a lot of guts to pull it out and it’s big for us to reach the main draw.”
The pair have only been together since the start of the year and before the World Championships their best results were 17th place finishes at The Hague and Rome Grand Slams.
At Mazury 2013 though they enjoyed a run to the quarterfinals and while they were stopped by defending champions Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego, they are hoping to use that momentum for the rest of the year.
“We want to build on everything every week and we’ve been getting steadily better every week,” Saxton said. “Last week was obviously a good result and we’re hoping to do even better this week and in weeks to come.
“Qualification is always tough; it is single elimination, so for everyone it is do or die, so everyone is going to fight as hard they can.”
Austrians win two from two to go through
Joining Schalk and Saxton in the main draw are Austrian 23-year-olds Daniel Mullner and Jorg Wutzl, who won both their qualification matches to progress.
First off they defeated Switzerland’s Gabriel Kissling and Jonas Kissling, then followed that victory up by beating Germany’s Eric Koreng and Sebastian Fuchs and are now setting their sights high.
“I’m happy to have qualified for the main draw,” Mullner said. “It was a tough match against the Germans. We want to improve on our 17th place finishes here. We’ve finished in 17th place a few times and we think we can improve here.”
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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