Brazilians silence the Rothenbaum

30.06.2019 - Hamburg

Antonelli and Carol shutdown home heroes Ludwig and Kozuch down in front of their home fans

Olympic and world champion Laura Ludwig’s undefeated run on her home sand of Hamburg came to an end by the hands of Maria Elisa Antonelli and Carol Salgado as the Brazilians bounced back to down the German star and her partner Margareta Kozuch 13-21, 21-13, 15-11 in the teams’ second match at the 2019 World Championships.

Ludwig had never lost an international match in Hamburg in her entire career as the 33-year-old veteran performed a 13-match winning streak in tournaments held at the Rothenbaum Stadium which led to the titles of both the 2016 Hamburg Major and the 2017 World Tour Finals with former partner Kira Walkenhorst.

The 2017 world champ produced a brilliant performance in the first set and delighted the crowd, taking it 21-13, but Antonelli and Carol slowly got back into the match and brought their best game to secure their second win in Hamburg.

“It was a great test for us, especially because the stadium was all behind them,” Antonelli said. “We had some struggles in figuring the stadium out because we hadn’t practiced in there before and Laura played unbelievable in the first set. But we stuck together in the hard moments and we knew that if we could do just a little bit better we could turn the game around. Our serve got better and we found a way to neutralize Kozuch and that’s when things started going our way.”

Despite having the crowd against them, the Brazilians enjoyed their first experience at the Red Bull Beach Arena during this year’s World Championships.

“We are trying to enjoy it as much as we can,” Carol, who scored three aces and two block points, added. “We’re excited to be here and it’s a privilege to play the World Championships at this venue. Even if we had to deal with a lot of pressure from the crowd as they were supporting the home team it was a lot of fun. We just love sharing these good moments.”

After two matches, Antonelli and Carol lead Pool J with four points and are already guaranteed in the elimination round. Ludwig/Kozuch and USA’s Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman have three each and Nigeria’s Tochukwu Nnoruga/Franco IIkhiede have two. The pool’s last matches take place on Tuesday, when the Brazilians play the Americans and the Germans face the Nigerians.