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Swiss and Germans close to Olympic redemption in Vienna

13.08.2021 - Vienna, Austria

Betschart/Hüberli and Borger/Sude make it to the semifinals of the EuroBeachVolley

The Tokyo Olympics might not have gone that well for Switzerland’s Nina Betschart/Tanja Hüberli and Germany’s Karla Borger/Julia Sude, but both teams managed to bounce back quickly and made it to the semifinals of the A1 CEV EuroBeachVolley 2021 presented by Swatch on Friday.

After finishing ninth in their first Olympics together, Betschart and Hüberli made it to the semifinals of the EuroBeachVolley for the second time together after taking silver in 2018. In a rematch of the final of that year’s edition of the tournament, the Swiss defeated Dutch veterans Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink in straight sets (22-20, 21-19) in the quarterfinals.

“It was a really close match, just two points of difference in each set,” Hüberli reflected. “I think both teams had good moments during the match and it was a really fun match, with a lot of rallies. We just kept believing and maybe we were able to put more pressure on them in the end with our blocking and defense.”

Even if the EuroBeachVolley semifinal will mark the first meeting between the teams, Betschart knows exactly what to expect from their opponents.

“We never played them before, but I’m sure it’s going to be exciting,” she remarked. “They’re a good team and are both strong with their ball control. For us, it’s about showing a good performance and hopefully that can take us to the final.”

The Germans have already significantly improved from their only appearance together at the EuroBeachVolley, in 2019, when they finished 17th, as they made it to the semifinals with a straight-set (21-18, 21-19) quarterfinal win over Russians Svetlana Kholomina and Ksenia Dabizha.

“It was an interesting match,” Borger said. “We had good starts to both sets but there were periods in which both teams were missing serves and no one really took control. We made a little change in our strategy in the second set, which gave us a good advantage, and even though we struggled a little bit at the end, we still solved that situation and came up with a win.”

The 32-year-old Borger and the 33-year-old Sude finished 19th in Tokyo after they lost all three of their pool play matches, but are already back on track in Vienna. The Germans are not only playing good beach volleyball, but also having a lot of fun in the tournament.

“We came to this tournament with no real expectations because we didn’t know how our bodies and minds would react after an exciting trip to Tokyo,” Sude added. “Before the Olympics, we told each other we really wanted to play here and after it we just took a few days off and decided to come. We’re just enjoying every minute of every match in front of the crowd because we missed it a lot over the last year.”