Hamburg, Germany, August 25, 2017 - With Olympic and world champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst advancing to the gold medal match at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone for the third-straight season, the Germans will now be challenged by Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa of Brazil after both teams posted two wins each here Saturday at Rothenbaum Stadium.
After eliminating sixth-seeded Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) in a 34-minute quarterfinal match Saturday afternoon, the fourth-seeded Agatha and Duda ended the day’s evening session by defeating second-seeded compatriots Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca 2-0 (21-12, 21-12) in a 29-minute semifinal match.
The 10th-seeded Ludwig and Walkenhorst opened with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-18) quarterfinal win in 35 minutes over ninth-seeded Joana Heidrich/Anouk Vergé-Dépré of Switzerland before posting a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) semifinal victory in 35 minutes over third-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan of Canada.
Ludwig and Walkenhorst placed second at the inaugural Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in the United States where the Germans dropped the gold medal match to Talita and Larissa in the United States on Fort Lauderdale Beach. In Canada last October, Ludwig and Walkenhorst topped the podium by defeating Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr in the finals.
With the 2017 Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone featuring an $800,000 purse, Saturday’s women’s winner and Sunday’s men’s gold medal match victors will split the $100,000 first-place prizes for each gender. Saturday’s schedule will also feature the women’s bronze medal match and the four men’s quarterfinal contests where teams from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United States are still competing.