05.07.2019 - Hamburg
It’s a semi-final that promises to be one of the matches of the tournament as Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho take on April Ross and Alix Klineman in the World Championship semi-final on Friday night.
The Aussies showed their determination to overcome young Russian stars Svetlana Kholomina and Nadezda Makroguzova in two sets in on side court 2 to progress to keep the dream alive of winning their first world title.
Kholomina and Makroguzova had stunned Agatha/Duda in the round before but they were powerless to stop the Australians continuing their fine form in pursuit of gold in Hamburg.
“We lost to them in the pool in Poland and this was a rematch,” said Taliqua. “They played well there and they played well at this tournament. We knew that we had be at our best.”
Meanwhile April and Alix – aka The A-Team – came out on top in the all-American clash in the match that followed on side court 2, winning 21-19, 21-14 against Summer Ross and Sara Hughes.
Ross is a former champion, having won the 2009 title with Jennifer Kessy, while Klineman is making her first ever appearance at the finals.
And experienced defender Ross paid tribute to her partner on her World Champs debut who only made the transition from indoor volleyball at the start of last season.
“Alix knows what it takes to perform at the top level,” said April. “She technically new to the beach but it doesn’t feel that way. She has been doing this all of her professional life. We are on the same page on everything and I don’t know anyone who works harder than she does. I’m extremely happy to have her as a partner.”
Klineman, who was bossing the game from the net throughout, added: “April always performs at a high level, it doesn’t matter if it’s a quarter-final or not.”
The two teams will go head-to-head on the Red Bull Beach Arena at 7.15pm CEST for a place in the World Championship final. Do. Not. Miss. It.