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2017-07-30 20:06:00 CET

Brazilian stars embrace the pressure

Larissa and Talita thrive in the heat to secure a second win

As the most successful country in the history of the competition, Brazil expects when it comes to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.

Top seeds Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Antunes know all about that, but if there was ever any fear about them buckling under the pressure, that has surely all-but disappeared.

In fact the two also put the expectations on themselves to perform, a mentality which is thus far working after securing their second win of the tournament on Red Bull Beach Arena on Sunday evening.

And with this the biggest event this summer, the gauntlet has been laid down for the rest of the field to come and take off them a tournament that they are almost desperate to win.

“Everybody expects for us, and the Brazilians in general, to have good results so there is the pressure that comes from that. We have a good team and if you don’t do well all the time, you are fighting for the ranking,” said 2009 world champion Talita.

“This one is big, the World Championships are big and so the pressure is at a certain level.

“We have expectation on ourselves, we feel we deserve to do well. All the teams train hard but we’ve been building hard and we have our history.

“Now we are playing year by year, we are not thinking about four years away, maybe this one is the last one this year apart from the Swatch World Tour finals.

“So why not take this first place? That is what we are pushing for.”

The aforementioned push for the crown has gone well so far, looking infallible in winning four out of four sets to secure their place in the knockout stages as they look for their first title as a partnership.

That came with a comfortable 21-15, 21-9 win over America’s Emily Day and Nicole Branagh in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees on Danube Island.

Talita added: “We played much better than yesterday, match by match we want to get better and improve so I’m so happy with how things are going currently.

“I love playing when it’s hot, it’s not easy to play in this but for us Brazilians we are used to it, we have tournaments when the weather is like this so we are used to it as much as you can be.

“Today we had a good day, we played almost at 100 per cent, there were a few mistakes but there will also be some of those, we managed to do well.”

Talita and Larissa will look to maintain their perfect record when they face Isabel Schneider and Victoria Bieneck on Tuesday. You can watch the action at 12.30pm, live on Beachstream, by signing up here!

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