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2017-07-31 17:22:00 CET

German battle doesn’t faze Ludwig

Two teams, one country and a lot of passionate support on the Red Bull Beach Arena

Laura and Kira have won all three matches so far on the Danube IslandLaura and Kira have won all three matches so far on the Danube Island

Germany v Germany. A match of familiarity, local rivalry and a chance to beat your training partners, right? Wrong!

They may have carried the same flag on Red Bull Beach Arena, but for Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch, their inter-country knowledge couldn’t have been much smaller.

The latter pair have only hit the scene together as recently as this year, while both duos have been forced to miss parts of the season prior to heading to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.

So when they lined up on the opposite sides of the net, thoughts of a tactical advantage disappeared as both eyed up a place on top of Pool D.

“We love playing, it doesn’t matter who we are up against,” said Ludwig. “But there aren’t as many flags in this pool with three German teams!

“Neither team has had a busy summer in tournaments so we didn’t know each other that well, but it was cool to be able to find out.

“It’s nice to work out what we can do and what we are capable of, we like to focus on our own game and that was the most important thing. We’ve been able to get a better rhythm as we’ve gone along.

“It was definitely an intense game but we focused on our service, we improved that and we were able to get a good pass and set.

Victory for Ludwig and Walkenhorst maintained their perfect winning record so far in the competition, dropping just one set on their way to the World Championships knockout stages.

They’ll be joined there by compatriots Borger and Kozuch, who did have a perfect record before this fixture, with a lot of German stars all bidding for the title.

If Borger and Kozuch were to take that honor it would come in their very first World Championships, currently sitting in a good position though they know there is room for improvement.

Borger said: “We were five points behind so made up a lot to get back into it, so it was disappointing to then lose 21-19 but we could see that we always had a chance.

“We’re growing as a team, in our friendship too, and I’m enjoying every single moment on the court with Karla, we couldn’t play so many tournaments this summer so I really appreciate being here.

“It doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the net, you want to win and you try to forget that they are the other German team. It’s the same for them, too, nobody is thinking about our country.”

You can catch all the German teams in action in the knockout stages live on BeachStream throughout the tournament. Click here to sign-up!

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