2017-08-06 07:30:00 CEST
Four teams remain, but only one will leave the Danube Island with the honor of being world champion
Vienna, you have certainly given us everything and more from the World Championships so far.
And while we’d hate to be greedy, we’ve got one more day of action-packed drama and top, top beach volleyball to bring you – so do not go anywhere!
Sunday will see the men’s world champion crowned, but with the semi-finals and final all to be played on one day, any one of four teams could follow Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst onto the Red Bull Beach Arena podium.
Dutch wildcards look to dazzle again
They came to Vienna as wildcards, and boy Maarten Van Garderen and Christiaan Varenhorst have certainly delivered with a starring performance to reach the last four.
In Varenhorst they have a previous finalist in their ranks, on home sand two years ago, so between them they know just what it takes to reach the gold-medal match.
But with Brazil on the other side of the net they will have their work cut out – with Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola the only pair to beat them in the competition so far, way back in their opening pool match.
Meanwhile these fourth seeds have been in top form so far, dropping just four sets in the competition while also getting the better of Canadian’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk in a match lasting more than an hour in the quarterfinals.
Evandro has also been in this ballpark previously, finishing third in 2015, desperate to go one step further this time around.
Can the Austrian dream go on?
Captivating a country, holding the hearts of thousands in the Red Bull Beach Arena in the process – Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst have provided one of the stories of the championships.
Through to the semifinals means they have already progressed beyond their wildest dreams, but they won’t want to wake up just yet.
But they’ll have arguably their toughest battle of the fortnight if they want to keep their challenge alive, in the shape of Russian powerhouses and sixth seeds Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Nikita Liamin.
They have dropped just one set so far in this competition, wasting barely time at all so far in any of their matches, saving energy which could prove invaluable if this game goes the distance.
Intriguingly the two have shared the head-to-head record in their history, with Clemens/Doppler winning the most recent of those – in Austria, just six weeks ago.
The final showdown
Once the dust settles from those epics, there won’t be long to wait before the day’s showcase, with the bronze- and gold-medal matches following on very quickly.
The third-place play off will take place live on the Red Bull Beach Arena from 1.45pm CET, while two players will be crowned world champions just a few hours later, as the final gets started at 3pm CET.
But who will follow in the footsteps of Alison/Bruno and take the Brazilians crown?
Don’t forget, you can watch every moment of what is set to be a historic day, live and free on BeachStream. Click here to sign-up!
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