2017-07-31 18:36:00 CEST
Barbora Hermannová and Marketa Sluková are looking to write the wrongs of recent World Championships past
With three wins from three and six sets from six, it’s little surprise that Czech confidence is high in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1.
Barbora Hermannová and Marketa Sluková are experienced hands when it comes to this level, but with this being the first time they have competed together in the Worlds, there is a feeling that 2017 could very well be their year.
An impressive pool stage run only enhances those thoughts, finishing off in style with a confident 21-8 21-17 win over Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti-Liukkonen – the Finnish pair expected to cause the most problems.
But with the top of the pool now secured, there may well be a sense of relief for the pair who seem to be hitting their peak at just the right time.
“We didn’t expect that scoreline, we know Finland are a very, very strong team and are real fighters, we have a lot of respect for them and they are able to turn some games around from nowhere so we knew this was not over,” said Sluková, Poreč Major silver medalist.
“We know there are some easier and tougher pools, but we know we’re going to get somebody who finishes second or third in theirs, which is always better.
“But the elimination round is exactly that – it’s over once you fail so it will be a little more stressful.
“Hopefully we will be able to keep up the good spirit, fighting spirit and winning spirit, and maybe we will be able to play in the big stadium.”
That Red Bull Beach Arena dream remains alive for the Czech pair, with the sixth seeds up there with one of the most consistent teams of the World Championships so far.
The next challenge will come in going as far in the competition as their ranking suggests, with both having previously making the knockout stages – including three 17th places for Slukova.
Hermannová said: “Winning is always nice, and for it to go so smoothly in keeping the opponents to 10 or 12 points is really nice, it’s good for us to save a bit of energy.
“One thing is to win against some teams, but it’s another to win against teams so high, so hopefully we will not forget what we’ve done by Wednesday.
“This is our second big competition together after the Olympics, but we have to take this like any other tournament.
“The stress is a little bit more but we are good fighters, we keep on trying to work together and stay positive. Whatever the competition, we just want to have fun on the court.”
Can the Czech pair maintain their excellent form? Follow their knockout progress live and free on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!
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