Beach Volleyball World Championships Tlaxcala 2023 - News

Agatha/Rebecca (BRA) vs. Ludwig/Lippmann (GER) - Round of 32 #7364977

The Brazilians came from behind to defeat the Germans in Tlaxcala

The elimination rounds of the 2023 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships began on Wednesday in Mexico and a duel between two legends of the sport highlighted the daily schedule among the women.

Opponents in the gold medal match of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Agatha and Bednarczuk and Laura Ludwig crossed paths again in a critical match and this time the Brazilian got the best of her longtime rival, advancing with partner Rebecca Cavalcanti to the Round of 16 of the event.

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Agatha, 40, and Rebecca, 30, lost their opening match in the event, but finished pool play strong, with a big win over Americans Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes. On Wednesday, after dropping a close first set to Ludwig and partner Louisa Lippmann, they found their rhythm again to secure a 2-1 (19-21, 22-20, 15-8) victory over the Germans at the Tlaxcala Bullring.

“It feels great,” Agatha told Volleyball World. “It was an incredibly tough match. Every time I get to play Laura, I need to give my absolute best because she’s a phenomenal player and the level is always so high. We had lost to them in Hamburg a few weeks ago and we studied that game a lot and were very aware of what we had to do today, especially in terms of handling their serves. We had some tough moments, but that’s normal in an elimination match. We’re very happy to be among the top 16 teams, but we’re still hungry and want much more.”

Agatha and Ludwig, who are both world champions and Olympic medalists, have been facing each other in international events since 2007 and have been opponents in 19 matches since then – besides playing for gold at the Rio Olympics, they faced each other in four other finals and also in the Round of 16 of the Tokyo Olympics, in 2021. Despite the loss in Tlaxcala, the German has been more successful historically, having won 13 of those encounters.

Agatha/Rebecca (BRA) vs. Ludwig/Lippmann (GER) - Round of 32 #7364975

Agatha and Ludwig have 16 years of battles at the international level

Following their triumph against the Germans, the Brazilians will now face Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss in the Round of 16. Still undefeated in Mexico, the Americans advanced to the next round with a sweep (23-21, 21-12) of Canadians Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain.

“The plan is to keep this same path,” Rebecca said. “We’ll study them and prepare the best we can. Since the start of the tournament, there have been no easy matches here and odds are things will only get harder. We’re very united as a team and I feel like we’re improving as the tournament progresses, which is great.”

Beach Volleyball World Championships - Match Schedule and Results

Another duel between Germans and Brazilians is set to happen in the Round of 16 as Svenja Müller and Cinja Tillmann advanced after a two-set (22-20, 21-16) victory over Spanish Liliana Fernández and Paula Soria and will now play Brazilians Tainá Bigi and Victoria Lopes, who eliminated compatriots Bárbara Seixas and Carol Salgado in the tie-breaker (22-20, 17-21, 16-14).

The United States will have another team in the Round of 16, in Terese Cannon and Megan Kraft, who advanced with a three-set (22-24, 24-22, 15-12) win over Brazilians Andressa Cavalcanti and Vitoria Rodrigues. Their next opponents will be Dutch Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam, who knocked out the European Championship silver medalists, Daniela Álvarez and Tania Moreno of Spain, in straight sets (34-32, 23-21).

Marta Menegatti/Valentina Gottardi and Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho are also to meet for a spot in the quarterfinals after the Italians dominated Swiss Olympic medalists Joana Mäder and Anouk Vergé-Dépré to a two-set (22-20, 21-15) victory and the Australians topped Germans Karla Borger and Sandra Ittlinger in two close sets (21-19, 25-23).

Tina/Anastasija (LAT) vs. J. Dong/Wang (CHN) - Round of 32 #7368795

Tina and Anastasija celebrate their victory against Dong and Wang

Eight other teams advanced in the night session. Among them were Latvians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Samoilova, who topped China's Jie Dong/Fan Wang 2-0 (21-14, 21-17), and Americans Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes, who overcame the Austrian Klinger sisters Ronja and Dorina in the tie-breaker (27-25, 19-21, 15-9). The duos will face each other in the Round of 16.

Another American team, formed by Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles, also made it to the Round of 16 with a two-set (23-21, 21-8) win over Czechs Barbora Hermannová and Marie-Sara Štochlová. Their next opponents will be reigning European champions Nina Brunner and Tanja Hüberli of Switzerland, who topped Poland's Jagoda Gruszczynska/Aleksandra Wachowicz in two sets (21-16, 21-14).

Reigning world champions Eduarda 'Duda' Lisboa and Ana Patrícia Ramos continue strong in their title defense. The Brazilians overcame the Round of 16 with a straight-set (21-14, 21-15) win over Lithuania's Monika Paulikiene/Aine Raupelyte and will now play China's Chen Xue/Xinyi Xia, who eliminated Thailand's Taravadee Naraphornrapat/Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-16) victory.

Brandie Wilkerson/Melissa Humana-Paredes and Esmée Böbner/Zoé-Vergé-Dépré will meet in the last Round of 16 duel. The Canadians advanced with a sweep (21-17, 21-17) of Finland's Taru Lathi/Niina Ahtiainen while the Swiss knocked out French Lézana Placette and Alexia Richard also in two sets (26-24, 21-16).

The Round of 16 matches will be held on Thursday, with four encounters taking place in Tlaxcala and two in Apizaco and Huamantla.

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