03.07.2019 - Hamburg
Laura Ludwig’s dream of retaining her World Championship title was shattered by Sara Hughes and Summer Ross as a stunning straight sets win inside the Red Bull Beach Arena saw the Americans eliminate the 2017 champion at the first hurdle.
Ludwig and teammate Maggie Kozuch were on the receiving end of a 15-21, 12-21 defeat as their participation at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Hamburg 2019 presented by comdirect and ALDI Nord came to a premature end.
“They played well but we didn’t make it hard enough for them,” admitted a disappointed Ludwig afterwards. “When we got some balls in play we didn’t make the point and couldn’t get into a flow.
“There was probably some pressure and nerves – we wanted to play well for all the people that came to watch so we’re disappointed that we lost and we’re disappointed we could not entertain the crowd.”
Maggie, who needed a five-minute medical timeout after having difficultly breathing in the second set, said: “The important thing is we experienced more matches together at this tournament and we will use that going forward. We have a lot good people around us and we will come back stronger after this game.”
An ecstatic American pair, who now face Dutch pair Joy Stubbe and Marleen van Iersel in for a place in the quarter-finals, said: “The energy of the crowd lifted us. The German crowd are so good that it never felt like we were ahead. We just focused on staying in the lead.”