2017 SWATCH BEACH VOLLEYBALL FIVB WORLD TOUR FINALS – Women
The end of the beach volleyball season is coming to a close, with the FIVB World Tour Finals having begun play in Hamburg, Germany. All teams are playing for a piece of the $800,000 prize with the winner earning $100,000 to split.
The opening day featured four matches with some expected wins and Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst playing strong in front of their home crowd. Ludwig/Walkenhorst were selected to the World Tour Finals through a wild card selection, as they were not ranked high enough to be automatically chosen. On day one, the Germans took on Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca, the #1 ranked team in the world. The German duo prevailed over the Brazilian powerhouse 2-0, (21-17, 21-19).
This is the fifth straight match that Ludwig/Walkenhorst have won over Talita/Larissa. Two of those came in the semifinals of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and earlier this month at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna.
Others winning matches were Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes in an all-Canadian match up against Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson 2-1, (20-22, 21-12, 15-9). Pavan/Humana-Paredes started off the match with a first set loss but quickly regrouped themselves in the following two sets to pick up the day one win.
Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda ‘Duda’ Santos Lisboa picked up a win over Switzerland’s Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli 2-0, (21-15, 21-17). This was a pick-me-up match for the Brazilian duo as they were eliminated earlier than expected at the World Championships.
Finally, Anouk Verge-Depre/Joana Heidrich took down the #2 ranked team in the world from Germany, Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur 2-0, (21-15, 21-16) on the opening day of play.