Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Silva – Brazil (4)
Ana Patricia: Debut
Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez – Spain (21)
Team: 9th (2011), 9th (2013), 9th (2015)
Elsa: 9th (2011), 9th (2013), 9th (2015), 17th (2017)
Lili: 9th (2011), 9th (2013), 9th (2015)
Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider – Germany (25)
Team: 33rd (2017)
Bieneck: 17th (2013), 33rd (2017)
Schneider: 33rd (2017)
Judith Hakizimana/Charlotte Nzayisenga – Rwanda (48)
Nzayisenga: 37th (2017)
Rebecca and Ana Patricia have been a revelation this season, winning a host of high-profile tournaments against top opposition. That form gives them a great chance of success in Hamburg but the Brazilians will need to negotiate a tough group against two experienced teams in the shape of Elsa/Lili and home team Bieneck/Schneider. The Spaniards are reunited after a baby break and their last three World Champs appearances have all been ninth. Germans Victoria and Isabel are the one home team still together after a year of challenges – but can they remain consistent enough to challenge the top teams? Rwandans Hakizimana and Nzayisenga will be out to cause a major upset as the outsiders of the quartet.
Depending on the results of their first two matches, Bieneck/Schneider may go into their last game against Nzayisenga/Judith needing a win to go through to the elimination stages. It will be a match for the Rwandans to remember with the game live on the Red Bull Beach Arena. Could the Africans raise their game and make life uncomfortable for the hosts? Who knows – but it’ll be fun finding out. Monday July 1, at 1pm CET. Red Bull Beach Arena.
Ana Patricia and Rebecca won three gold medals in the space of five World Tour tournaments earlier this season and have already won six medals in the 13 events they’ve played together. Ana Patricia is only 20 – and was the partner of Duda when the pair won back-to-back Under-21 Youth World Championships in 2016 and 2017.
Alix Klineman/April Ross – United States (5)
Ross: 37th (2007), 1st (2009), 5th (2011), 4th (2013), 9th (2015), 2nd (2017)
Karla Borger/Julia Sude – Germany (19)
Borger: 2nd (2013), 17th (2015), 17th (2017)
Sude: 37th (2009), 5th (2011), 17th (2015), 5th (2017)
Xinxin Wang/Chen Xue – China (33)
Team: 17th (2017)
Wang: 17th (2017)
Xue: 4th (2007), 9th (2009), 3rd (2011), 1st (2013), 17th (2017)
Valeria Mendoza/Lolette Rodriguez – Nicaragua (42)
Alix Klineman heads to Hamburg alongside 2009 champion and 2017 runner-up April Ross with a big chance of glory on World Championship debut. The duo have enjoyed a fruitful partnership both internationally and domestically and are without doubt one of the favorites. German pair Karla Borger and Julia Sude are one of a host of new home teams in action – but will they be able to hit the sand running when they take to the Red Bull Beach Arena? Xinxin Wang is just 21 but alongside her she has the 2013 champion in Chen Xue. She has enjoyed huge success in the competition – Chen is only 30… is there another run in her in Hamburg? Nicaraguan pair Valeria and Lolette have yet to taste World Tour experience but will aim to spring a surprise nonetheless.
It’s hard to get away from the A-Team’s battle against hosts Borger/Sude on the Red Bull Beach Arena’s main court. Alix and April have been playing some superb volleyball this season and against opposition of Karla and Julia’s talent this should be a hugely entertaining game under the floodlights. Monday, July 1, at 7.15pm CET. Red Bull Beach Arena.
April won the 2009 World title with Jennifer Kessy – who now is the coach of Alix and April.
Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Lisboa – Brazil (6)
Team: 17th (2017)
Agatha: 17th (2005), 17th (2013), 1st (2015), 17th (2017)
Duda: 17th (2017)
Fan Wang/Xinyi Xia – China (22)
Wang: 5th (2015), 17th (2017)
Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami – Japan (29)
Mailen Deliz/Leila Martinez – Cuba (40)
Leila: 33rd (2015), 9th (2017)
After winning the World Tour Finals in Hamburg 12 months ago, Agatha and Duda will be out to win their first World Championships together. If they do succeed, Duda will become the youngest world champ and give Agatha her second crown after triumphing with Barbara Seixas in 2015. They should come through this group which is wide-open in the race for second and third spot. Chinese Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia have struggled against the top teams in recent tournaments while Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi have shown their quality – their fifth in Gstaad last year a prime example. Cubans Mailen and Leila are the dark horses. Leila finished ninth in the last championships and this duo have all the attributes to trouble all of the teams in this pool.
We think it will be definitely worth your while to head out to side court 3 to catch the Japan versus Cuba clash in what could be likely as a shootout for second place. Both teams have the skill and determination to mount a real challenge in qualifying for the knockout stages and this is a game that could go either way. Monday, July 1, at 5pm. Side court 3.
Two years ago in Vienna, Agatha and Duda were eliminated at the first elimination stage, losing to Markéta Slukova and Barbora Hermannová in three sets. It meant that Agatha posted a 17th place finish for the third time in four World Championships. On her other appearance she won gold.