03.07.2019 - Hamburg, Germany
Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho survived arguably the toughest match-up of the Round of 32 of the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships as the Australians eliminated the number two team in the world in Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson in Hamburg.
The Aussies, who are currently fourth in the world rankings, had a dominant performance and posted a 21-15 first set win to follow it up with 21-19 in the second and advance to the Round of 16 at the Rothenbaum Stadium.
“We stuck really strong together and were really patient,” Artacho explained. “They are a great and it wasn’t going to be an easy game and they wouldn’t just going to give it to us, so we really had to earn it and I’m really proud of what we did.”
The early match-up happened because both the Australians and the Canadians suffered a setback in pool play, but it seems Clancy and Artacho bounced back in stronger fashion after it. They will now play Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich/Anouk Vergé-Dépré for a place in the quarter-finals.
“We just felt we weren’t strong in the big moments in that game we lost, but we’ve been growing since then,” Clancy reflected. “Every round is tough now because there’s so much depth in the women’s game and you need to bring your very best to each match. But we stuck together as a team and put up one of our best performances.”
For the Canadians, the loss marked the end of their campaign in Hamburg with a disappointing 17th-place.
“We wanted to come and do our best for every single game and win every single game, but the playoffs are sort of a new start,” Bansley said. “We were ready to compete and play against anyone and to make it far in the tournament, but you’re going to have to play some good teams, so that’s just the way it is.”
One of the quarter-final matchups in Hamburg will reunite Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes, who defeated Chinese Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia 21-18, 21-13, and Dutch Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink, who eliminated Americans Kelley Larson and Emily Stockman in three sets (21-17, 13-21, 15-13).
Other match already determined is the one that will see Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Ramos against Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli. The Brazilians prevailed over Chinese Chen Xue and Xinxin Wang in two sets (21-11, 21-13) while the Swiss needed all three (16-21, 21-16, 16-14) to go through Slovakians Natalia Dubovcova and Andrea Strbova.
Another Brazilian team to advance is the one of 2015 world champion Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Berti. They downed Austrians Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig 21-16, 21-16 and will now face Germans Karla Borger and Julia Sude, who came out on top of the national duel with Kim Behrens and Cinja Tillmann with a 19-21, 21-17, 15-13 victory.