28.06.2019 - Hamburg, Germany
Five past winners started on the right foot their campaigns at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord as teams from Brazil, the United States and the Netherlands won their first matches at the biennial tournament.
Winners from the 2015 edition, Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas had promising starts with their current partners. Returning to the Red Bull Beach Arena the Rothenbaum for the first time after they won last year’s World Tour Finals, Agatha and Duda Lisboa downed Cubans Leila Martinez and Maylen Tamayo in two sets (21-15, 21-12) on Pool F.
“I think this could be the most dangerous pool play match for us here”, Agatha reflected. “The Cubans are good, but they don’t compete regularly in the World Tour, so it’s hard to prepare for them. That’s why when they come for these big events they normally surprise some teams. He had a game plan going into the match, but we also needed to be open-minded to make adjustments as needed since we don’t really know what tendencies were.”
They will return to the court on Sunday, when they face Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami.
Barbara and Fernanda had a similarly comfortable debut as they toppled Mexicans Martha Revuelta and Zaira Orellana 21-14, 21-12 for Pool L. Their next opponents will be Slovakia’s Natalia Dubovcova and Andrea Strbova.
“We love playing on these big tournaments and we prepared very well for it,” Barbara said after the victory. “It was a great start and a good way to get us into our rhythm. The Mexicans don’t compete very often on the World Tour, so we needed to study their games and I think we did a good job. It feels to go be playing again after we missed the last tournament in Warsaw.”
Americans and Dutch also win
In men’s tournament, three other past winners secured victories on their openers. American Phil Dalhausser, a 2007 champion, and his partner Nick Lucena cruised past Argentineans Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso with a 21-14, 21-13 win in Pool F.
In the other match of the pool, Dutchmen Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen needed three sets (23-21, 19-21, 15-9) to down Canadians Ben Saxton and Grant O’Gorman. The next matches for both teams will happen on Sunday, when the Americans play the Canadians and the Dutch face the Argentineans.