Baden, Austria. Adrian Heidrich/Mirco Gerson of Switzerland, their compatriots Marco Krattiger/Florian Breer, home sensation Tobias Winter and Julian Hörl as well as Slovenia’s Nejc Zemljak/Jan Pokeršnik have progressed straight to the quarterfinals of the FIVB World Tour 1-Star Baden Open. Winter and Hörl were the surprise package of the day as they secured a clear victory over reigning Baden champions Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst (21-16, 21-9). In the women’s competition, another two Swiss duos – Nina Betschart/Tanja Hüberli and Joana Heidrich/Anouk Vergé-Dépré (pictured), as well as Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova (CZE) and Germany’s Julia Sude/Karla Borger have achieved the same feat, making it among the top eight of the tournament.
The home teams, Dorina Klinger/Lena Plesiutschnig and Nadine Strauss/Teresa Strauss, secured one victory and one loss in their respective pools and will resume their journey on Saturday in Round 2. The same applies to a number of other Austrian teams – Doppler/Horst, Robin Seidl/Philipp Waller, Alexander Huber/Christoph Dressler, Moritz Pristauz/Laurenz Leitner, Moritz Kindl/Mathias Seiser and Maximilian Trummer/Felix Friedl.
Eva Freiberger/Viktoria Fink and Franziska Friedl/Eva Pfeffer have to leave the competition after suffering two straight losses.
“The first game was okay, the second unfortunately a disaster. Now it is time to reset and tomorrow we will have to give our very best,” Horst commented after their loss to Winter/Hörl.
“It is really fun to play in front of an audience again. Let’s see what else the weekend brings,” commented an elated Tobias Winter before partner Julian Hörl added, “It is going really well, making through the qualification and now with first place in our pool. We are looking forward to the quarterfinals.”
“As number two of the Main Draw and winners of our pool, I hope we can live up to the role of co-favourites of this tournament,” commented Mirco Gerson.
“We got into the tournament well today and performed well against a top Austrian team. The journey can continue tomorrow,” said Florian Breer, who is making his first international appearance after forming a partnership with Krattiger.
Top-seeded Betschart/Hüberli did not give the Czechs Michala Kvapilová/Michaela Kubickova any chance and with a 21-15, 21-15 they claimed the top spot in their pool and with it a ticket to the quarterfinals. Hermannova/Slukova, on the other hand, had to fight hard for every point in their match with Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy before eventually celebrating a 21-17, 21-18 victory. Sude/Borger claimed a German derby to stamp their ticket to the quarterfinals as well.
“We are happy about winning the group, but not everything felt great. We want to improve the level of our performance in the knockout phase of the tournament,” Nina Betschart commented.
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