Two European duos advance to 1/4 finals as Goller/Ludwig claim German derby
2012 Olympic Games
London, Great Britain, August 3, 2012. US duo April Ross and Jennifer Kessy were one of four women’s teams that reached the quarter-finals of the London 2012 Olympic Games on the first day of the knockout rounds at Horse Guards Parade. They beat Switzerland’s Nadine Zumkehr and Simone Kuhn 21-15, 21-19.
Ross and Kessy played their final pool match less than 24 hours earlier, but managed to come out strongly at the start and quickly found their rhythm. In the second set though the Swiss fought hard to stay in contention and managed to save one match point before Ross won the match with a spike.
“I’m elated because it was a fast turn-around,” Ross said. “There was a lot of adrenalin going because we didn’t get time to train and we didn’t know how that would go so we came out and had a good warm up and it went well.”
Next up for Ross and Kessy is the winner of the match between Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes, and the Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova.
“We weren’t happy we had to play today, but we are now,” Ross added. “It gives us more chance to rest and watch them play.”
The round of 16 started with an all German match between Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig against Ilka Semmler and Katrin Holtwick. The match went to form as the number one German side of Goller and Ludwig finished with the win, 21-16, 21-15.
“Before the draw I said two things: I don't want to play Germany and I don't want to play early. We got both, but maybe minus and minus is a plus,” Goller said. “The big difference I think is that we played in the Beijing Olympics. We can control our nerves a bit better.”
Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta continued to build momentum as they knocked out Dutch lucky loser winners Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel.
The Brazilians were on their best form in the opening set and then after a slow start to the second in which they found themselves trailing, they rediscovered their composure to win 21-10, 21-17.
“The match was very good and the first set was perfect for us, we made no mistakes,” Larissa said. “In the second set we went behind three points, but it’s important that we managed to get back ahead.”
Larissa competed in Beijing 2008 with Ana Paula after Juliana was ruled out with a knee injury. While they may be close to their best, the fact that it is Juliana’s debut Olympics can still affect them.
“Juliana is feeling the pressure of playing in her first Olympic Games,” Larissa said. “I said it is OK to make mistakes. There is always a second set, or a third set. I always think we can win.”
Austrian sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger continued their upturn in form to book themselves a place in the last eight and match their achievement from Beijing 2008. They saw off the challenge of Russia’s Anastasia Vasina and Anna Vozakova with a 21-17, 16-21, 15-9 victory.
“We are so proud that we had a good match and competed on each ball,” Doris Schwaiger said. “It is so great to be fifth again and so proud to still be here in this tournament because we love it so much.”
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