Barbara and Fernanda keep Brazil alive

04.07.2019 - Hamburg, Germany

The Brazilians recovered from a massive first set loss to eliminate Germans Borger and Sude

Brazil was just one set away from not being in position to contend for a medal in the women’s tournament of the Beach Volleyball World Championships for the first time ever, but Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Berti turned around a match against Germans Karla Borger and Julia Sude that seemed lost to keep their country alive in Hamburg.

After the eliminations of Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Lisboa and Rebecca Cavalcanti/Ana Patricia Ramos earlier in the day, Barbara and Fernanda are the last hopes of Brazil as they march to the quarter-finals at the Red Bull Beach Arena. Hosts Germany is out of the tournament.

“We don’t want to have the fact that we’re the only Brazilians left at this point as added pressure,” Fernanda said. “Of course we’ll always do all we can to represent our country the best we can and to go as far as we can, but during the tournaments there’s so much going on with us that I try to not really pay attention to how the other teams are doing. It’s all about us and always thinking about the next step.”

The Rio 2016 silver medalist and the 34-year-old blocker lost the first set shockingly 21-10, but regrouped to come back stronger and score 21-17, 15-11 and remain undefeated and alive in the tournament.

“The biggest issue was adjusting to the Red Bull Beach Arena,” Barbara explained. “We had only played on the side courts so far and we struggled terribly in the first set. We had to really start from scratch and work on our receiving and from that point on we could finally implement our strategy and that’s when the match got more even.”

Their quarter-final opponents will be Switzerland’s Tanja Hüberli and Nina Betschart, who eliminated Rebecca and Ana Patricia with a 19-21, 21-15, 15-12 victory in the Round of 16. The match will be played at 12.15pm CEST at the Red Bull Beach Arena.

“We knew they would come into the match with a little bit of an extra responsibility because of their ranking position and also because they had won both times we’d met before, so we just wanted to enjoy it,” Hüberli explained. “The main thing was that we remained calm even when they were ahead and it felt as if nothing would be able to stop us.”

The Europeans are guaranteed their best finish of the season so far and they hope that the good momentum helps them to continue playing well as they approach the medal rounds.   

“For us, it’s a big relief to be in the quarter-finals,” the blocker added. “We hadn’t had the best results so far this season, so to be in the top-5 in the most important tournament of the year means a lot. It also helps us on playing without any pressure and I feel that we’re at our best when we’re playing free in the court.”