Baden, Austria. Switzerland’s Nina Betschart/Tanja Hüberli and home stars Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller claimed on Sunday the gold medals of the FIVB World Tour BADEN OPEN presented by SPORT.LAND.NÖ. The Swiss team secured the title after their compatriots Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Dépré had to withdraw during the final due to injury. Betschart and Hüberli celebrated their second triumph in Baden after standing on top of the podium in 2016. The reigning Austrian champions Seidl and Waller, on the other hand, defeated Adrian Heidrich/Mirco Gerson (SUI) in the men’s final in three sets (21-17, 16-21, 15-11).
“Adrian [Heidrich] is such an amazing blocker,” Seidl said. “To play against someone like him is quite an experience. It was a good game and a good win. It is so nice and it feels great to play here in Baden, and even more to win the tournament. The atmosphere is so unique here in Baden and we want to celebrate this success.”
“It is super cool to win at home, in front of your own friends,” Waller added. “We played better in the third set when it comes to our block and defence game. We scored three blocks and claimed the lead and after that, it became easier to play. That was good for us.”
The Swiss qualifiers Quentin Métral/Yves Haussener crowned a memorable week with their victory in the bronze medal match against Nejc Zemljak and Jan Pokeršnik of Slovenia (25-23, 21-19).
“To win a game like this is never nice,” said Tanja Hüberli after the abrupt end to the first all-Swiss gold medal match in women’s World Tour competition. “However, we are happy with how we played up to their injury. We are also happy with how we made it to the semi-finals, since we played some very good games in the process, including those where we had to fight our way through; we mastered that quite well as a team.”
“It was cool and great to finally play an international tournament with other top players again,” added partner Nina Betschart referring to the long break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We did not play well in the first set. It is unfortunate that we had to end the tournament this way. Now let’s see what is wrong with Joana’s fingers. We did not want to take any additional risks ahead of the European Championship,” said Vergé-Dépré.
In the bronze medal match, Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider claimed the German derby with Julia Sude and Karla Borger 2-1 (21-16, 20-22, 15-13).
“It was one of the most beautiful and emotional events of the past 16 years. Within just eight weeks, despite the corona pandemic, our team showed that we could deliver an international event of this calibre,” said promoter Dominik Gschiegl. “For this I would like to thank the 20-strong core team of Vision05 and over 120 people involved in the tournament delivery. It was an extraordinary event with an equally extraordinary setting. We have done everything to bring the sport back into focus and with our prevention concept, we could guarantee the safety of visitors, players and employees. A big thank you goes to SPORT.LAND.Niederösterreich, the city of Baden, the local authorities and the sponsors who supported us and placed their trust in us.”
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