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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 the gold.

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 said.

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 game.”

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 said.

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 now.”

FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Tournament Page
FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Men’s Main Draw
FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Women’s Main Draw
FIVB Moscow Grand Slam Twitter Account



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