Baden, Austria. Switzerland emerged on Saturday as the major force to reckon with at the FIVB World Tour BADEN OPEN presented by SPORT.LAND.NÖ, with as many as four of their teams qualifying for the semis of the event held in the outskirts of Vienna. As for the home teams, only reigning Austrian national champions Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller remain in contention and they will continue their journey in Sunday’s semis. Live streaming of all semis and medal matches scheduled for Sunday will be available on the CEV’s YouTube channel as well as on EuroVolleyTV, starting from 10 am CEST.
Austria’s Alexander Huber and Christoph Dressler lost to Adrian Heidrich (pictured)/Mirco Gerson of Switzerland, who in the semis will play against Nejc Zemljak/Jan Pokeršnik of Slovenia. Another Swiss team, Quentin Métral and Yves Haussener, will provide the opposition for home stars Seidl and Waller.
“It was good that we were able to put pressure right from the start and we could keep it going until the end. In the second set, they raised the level, but we are glad that we were able to respond,” said Seidl after the quarterfinal victory over their compatriots Tobias Winter and Julian Hörl. “We had things under control in the first set but the second was a lot closer, before we eventually made sure it would end in our favour too,” added partner Waller.
The defending champions Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst, who were chasing their fourth overall and third consecutive title in Baden, had to withdraw on Saturday morning due to a physical problem. “We tried hard to compete here because Baden is such an important tournament for us but the situation has not improved and it did not make any sense to restart playing today,” Horst commented. “We will focus on healing and be as ready as possible for next week’s Austrian national championships.”
Two Swiss teams have progressed to the semis of the women’s tournament as well. Top-seeded Nina Betschart/Tanja Hüberli and Joana Heidrich/Anouk Vergé-Dépré are in contention for the gold medal. They will play German teams in the semis – Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider and Julia Sude/Karla Borger, respectively. Heidrich and Vergé-Dépré needed three sets to edge Michala Kvapilova and Michaela Kubickova of the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals. “The third set can always go either way, especially since it is so much shorter than an ordinary set,” Vergé-Dépré said. “You do feel the pressure and the emotions can play a role.” “We did catch a good start but we let them come back; however, a victory is a victory,” added Heidrich.
Austrian teams Dorina Klinger/Lena Plesiutschnig and Nadine Strauss/Teresa Strauss have to be content with a decent ninth place.
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