04.07.2019 - Hamburg
It was one of the hardest matches to call at the start of the day and so it proved as Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan edged through to the quarter-final thanks to a tense three-set win over reigning European champions Sanne Keizer and Madeline Meppelink.
The Canadians, who are aiming to better their fourth place finish from Vienna two years ago, looked set to win in two sets, leading in the second set before being pegged back by their Dutch counterparts.
Melissa and Sarah fought back in the decider to set-up a last-eight meeting with Italians Martha Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth and afterwards the pair both praised each other’s performance inside the Red Bull Beach Arena.
“I have to give a ton of props to Melissa,” said Pavan. “She was unbelievable, her sideout was so smooth, she was digging everything. To turn off block and have an amazing control every time, that was the difference. She wanted to win so badly and that made me even more excited to be on the court with her.”
Melissa returned the compliment, saying: “I have to give Sarah credit. We had a lot of plays and with her blocking it made everything easy. I have to credit our coach too, coming up with the strategy.
“Coming back to win having been up in the second set and losing that really fueled me – more than I ever imagined. I let that go in the third set, I had to fight back and bring it up a notch at the end. There was a lot of emotion in that last set. I’m very happy because that was an important win.”
After hearing they would be facing the Italians, Sarah added: “Martha is a very good defender, they have a great plan and we will have to play as well as we did today if we are to take any advantage.
“But we’re excited. We want that semi-final berth.”