10.10.2021 - Cagliari
Germany’s Karla Borger and Julia Sude triumphed on top of the podium at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Cagliari on Sunday. They claimed their country’s fourth title in a total of six editions of the World Tour Finals. For the pair, it was the second gold and overall third medal on the Tour.
The silver went to reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes. The Canadian duo now have 14 podium finishes on the World Tour.
USA’s April Ross and Alix Klineman claimed the bronze. It was their country’s first women’s medal at the World Tour Finals and the A-Team’s overall ninth medal on the Tour since the two athletes joined forces in 2018.
Borger and Sude stormed into the gold medal match with lots of confidence. They quickly broke away with a wide lead and never looked back to win the first set by a wide margin. Pavan and Melissa, however, put on a fight in the second set and it was a fierce battle for every point. The gap never exceeded two points, one way or another, and the set was pushed into overtime. The first two German match points were denied, but on the third one, they triumphed victorious with a 2-0 (21-13, 23-21) win.
“We had a very tough season and I think after the Olympics we focused more on ourselves. We tried to find ourselves on the court again in the last highlights, the European Championship, the German Championship, and now at the World Tour Finals, I mean the best 10 teams of the world play here, we end the season with a win. It’s a huge honour even to qualify to play here and now we have the trophy!” Julia Sude told Volleyball World with happy tears in her eyes.
“We were on court just to think about the next point. I totally forgot about what we were playing here. It was just about us making the next point,” added Borger. “It’s unbelievable to stay here with this trophy, to win this tournament... We never expected it. We want to thank everybody who has been with us and helping us in this journey!”
Reigning Olympic champions April and Alix had no mercy for Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina in the first set of the bronze medal match earlier on Sunday. In the second, the Russians tried fighting back, but the Americans were way too strong and way too focused on winning that medal. The A-Team stayed in control to celebrate with a 2-0 (21-8, 21-17) victory.
“We’re so happy with the bronze! There were difficult conditions to play you couldn’t see on TV I’m sure. The air is really light and the ball moves a lot, so we’d have a great game, then we’d have a not so great game... To end on a really great note feels amazing and we’re so stoked to be going home with a medal,” said April.
“I don’t think we played at our best at times. It’s been a long year, but we pushed through and I’m so happy with the way we pushed today. After a loss like last night and feeling the fatigue and everything, April really carried the energy and I’m just so happy that we’re going to be on the podium. It’s always an honour to get a medal,” added Alix.