Graz/Vienna, Austria. The HYPO NOE Beach Volleyball Champions Cup resumed on Saturday at Mur-Beach in Graz, with four teams – two in each gender – securing their spot in the final stage of the competition scheduled for this coming Saturday, July 11. Julia Radl / Anja Dörfler (see picture), Nadine Strauss / Teresa Strauss, Christoph Dressler / Alexander Huber and Clemens Doppler / Alexander Horst have all qualified for the final showdown. The remaining four tickets will be at stake on Sunday on the spusuSPORTinsel in Vienna, where the finals will be taking place as well.
For the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown, a number of fans were eventually able to follow the actions of Austria’s top Beach Volleyball players. The mood was correspondingly good – even if the attendance was limited due to restrictions still in place to curb the spread of the disease.
The local favourites Radl / Dörfler secured the tournament victory in front of an enthusiastic audience and with the bonus of ideal weather conditions. Eight days after the two players of UVC Holding GRAZ had impressed in the first stage of the competition held in Klagenfurt, they also proved invincible in Graz. Even the top-seeded Strauss twins had to accept a loss – even though this came after three sets. The Strauss sisters – just like Radl / Dörfler – did not lose their cool in the duels against Katharina Almer / Stephanie Wiesmeyr and the outsiders Michaela Hollaus / Julia Mitter, therefore securing their spot in the final stage of the competition as well.
In the men’s event, Dressler / Huber as well as Doppler / Horst made it to the next stage courtesy of their wins over Lorenz Petutschnig / Florian Schnetzer and Maximilian Trummer / Felix Friedl. The two favourite teams had to fight hard before they could prevail against their challengers. In a direct duel for first place, Dressler / Huber won in three sets against the silver medal winners from the 2017 FIVB World Championship.
On Sunday on Vienna’s Danube Island, Robin Seidl / Philipp Waller, winners of a preliminary round event last week, will play EuroBeachVolley 2019 bronze medal winners Martin Ermacora / Moritz Pristauz as well as Tobias Winter / Julian Hörl and the outsiders Simon Frühbauer / Michael Murauer. The top two teams from this pool will make it to the finals as well. Franziska Friedl / Eva Pfeffer are the favourites of the women’s event featuring Eva Freiberger / Viktoria Fink, Dorina Klinger / Oda Ulveseth and Anna Mayr / Birgit Schöttl.