Baden, Austria, June 1, 2013. Finally! Doris and Steffi Schwaiger managed to win their first gold medal in the history of beach volleyball in Baden. After several silver and bronze medals in the past five years, the local heroes overcame Zumkehr-Heindrich (SUI) in a high-class final 19-21, 21-12 and 15-13. For the Austrian men’s teams, it was not the best day. Doppler/Horst as well as Huber/Seidl lost their matches before the final day on Sunday.
First game of the day was the quarterfinal between last year’s champions Forrer-Vergé-Dépré (SUI) and the German duo Bieneck-Großner. Even though the Swiss team won the first set (21-18), they had to abandon the field. Number eight-seeded Bieneck-Großner turned the game, won the second and third set (21-16, 16-14) and moved directly to the semifinal. There, they faced the Schwaiger-Sisters, who marched to Baden’s semifinals inexorably. They cruised past English opponents Dampney-Boulton and won the game in two sets (22-20, 21-12).
The game between the local heroes and last year’s champion was very close. The Swiss team finished the first set against the Schwaigers by just two points (22-20). On a fully packed centre court, the Austrians came back into the game and managed to win the second set 21-17. In the decisive third set, the girls from Lower Austria were down by two points but turned the game and finished it strong. They won it 15-10 and advanced to the final, where they had to play against another Swiss team.
Coming out of the loser bracket, top-seeded Zumkehr-Heidrich overcame Germans Bienecker-Großner in two sets (21-12, 21-19), to advance to CEV Baden Masters’ final.
Unfortunately, the bronze medal match could not take place. Swiss youngster Anouk Vergé-Dépré had to forfeit before the game. A knee injury did not allow her to compete for the bronze medal. Thus, Bieneck-Großner finished the CEV Baden Masters on the podium with the bronze medal.
Last game of today was the ultimate showdown for the gold medal between Austrian beach stars Doris and Steffi Schwaiger and Swiss duo Zumkehr-Heidrich, who had the better start in the game. They ended up winning the first set 21-19. But Schwaiger-Sisters showed the one and only reaction. From the beginning of the second set, the local heroes did not make any mistakes at all. They cruised past Zumkehr-Heidrich to win it 21-12. A decisive third set had to be played. It was close until the very end. The crowd cheered for the home team and helped them to overcome their opponents 15-13 and win the gold medal!
On men’s tournament, Xandi Huber and Robin Seidl lost their quarterfinal against top-seeded Kadziola-Szalankiewicz from Poland. They got the short end of the stick on first set 20-22 after missing out to use the first set point of the game. The second set was dominated by Polish duo from the very beginning. They won it 21-17 and advanced directly to the semifinals on Sunday. Huber-Seidl had to take the way through the loser pool, playing versus Kufa-Hadrava. The Czechs overpowered Austrian beach stars Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst in a very close game 21-17, 23-25 and 15-12. Jan Hadrava’s service was the key factor in that thriller. Last years Champions Doppler/Horst ended the tournament on 7th place.
In the decisive game for Sunday’s semifinal, Kufa-Hadrava and Huber-Seidl faced on Baden’s beautiful centre court. Everybody expected a close battle, but Huber-Seidl couldn’t affiliate on yesterday’s performance. Bob Kufa and Jan Hadrava dominated from the very beginning and won the game conspicuously 21-12 an 21-14. Thereby, Xandi Huber and Robin Seidl, the last male Austrian team, bowed out of the competition, finished 5th this year.
Sunday’s semifinals will be Kadziola-Szalankiewicz (POL) versus Böckermann-Urbatzka and Semenov-Koshkarev (RUS) against Kufa-Hadrava (CZE).
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