2017-07-29 15:59:00 CEST
An all-German affair saw the Olympic champions prevail in front of a packed crowd
Take one packed-out court, two German teams and three thrilling sets of beach volleyball and you make one thing: a FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 match to remember.
Not one seat was going spare on Side Court 2 in Vienna, but those who were lucky enough to get their spot were in for a treat even before Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, and Julia Groβner and Nadja Glenzke took to the sand.
The two rival teams didn’t disappoint either, with Ludwig and Walkenhorst forced to come from behind to take the spoils by two sets to one in their Pool D match.
If it felt like a carnival for the fans, then the players experienced that atmosphere on a new level – with Ludwig in particular hopeful that the best could even be still to come in Austria.
“It feels like the Olympics a bit, with the presentations of the countries and the fans as they are, Austria really knows how to put on a show,” Olympic champion and queen of the beach Laura Ludwig said.
“It’s only the second day and it’s already full on the side courts, we’ve already been hearing how loud the center court – there’s a great atmosphere all around and it’s really packed.
“We want to be loud and aggressive, at the beginning we didn’t want to do anything wrong but as we went on we wanted to be louder. We still don’t have the rhythm we would like, which we need to find from more self-confidence.”
Playing against their German counterparts understandably opened up nerves for all players involved, in a pool that also contains another pair from the country in Margareta Kozuch and Karla Borger.
Both teams took time to find their feet in the opening stages, with Glenzke and Groβner making the early running to take the set and disrupt the fourth seeds.
But the favorites came roaring back in the first contest between the pairs, winning the second set 21-15 to set up a grandstand third and final rubber under the Viennese sun.
And the experience of Ludwig and Walkenhorst shone through when it mattered most, victorious in the nip-tuck last clash 15-12 in a game that left fans all around delighted.
“We had a slow start, focusing a lot on ourselves but we weren’t aggressive enough early on and were holding back a little bit,” Ludwig added.
“We wanted to be strong and go for every ball, but we were a little bit anxious and we said to ourselves to get going – to go for points instead of mistakes, so we cracked on.
“We played smarter and put a little bit of pressure on their service, point by point we were getting better and better and we were able to get our strengths and self-confidence back.
“We played smart, we took the timeout at the right time and it worked out nicely.”
There is one more all-German clash to come in Pool D, as Ludwig and Walkenhorst take on Kozuch and Borger on Monday at 2pm CET, live on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!
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