Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 11, 2017 – Brazil and Germany are the first two countries in the semifinals of the women’s tournament of the $600,000 Fort Laurderdale Major as No. 2 seeded Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes and No.3 seeded Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude advanced to the final four of the 2017 international beach volleyball season opener this Saturday.
The first qualified team was Larissa/Talita. The three-time Olympians defeated compatriots Barbara Seixas, a silver medallist in Rio 2016, and her new partner Fernanda Alves in straight sets 2-0 (23-21, 21-13) in the quarterfinals and marched to their 19th final four appearance in 29 international tournaments.
“They are Brazilians like us, so we know each other pretty well, but it’s a new team and it’s always hard playing against them,” said Larissa. “Our concentration on the match was the most important thing today. We were very focused on our side out and our defense and just tried to have fun on the court.”
Larissa and Talita starter their campaign losing to the Netherlands’ Jolien Sinnema/Joy Stubbe, but haven’t dropped a set since then, winning their last four matches in the tournament. The Brazilian veterans are also the defending champions in Fort Lauderdale, as they won the 2015 FIVB World Tour Finals in Florida.
They now wait for the night session, when they will know who their semifinals rivals will be, with Czech Republic’s Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova and USA’s Summer Ross/Brooke Sweat as the two possibilities.
Germany's Julia Sude prepares to serve against Brazil
The 2016 Porec Major champions Laboureur and Sude advanced to their 8th international semifinals as the German cruised past Brazil’s Lili Maestrini/Josi Alves in straight sets 2-0 (21-14, 21-15). The European got revenge against the Brazilians, who had defeated them on Thursday in their pool C match.
“We couldn’t lose twice to the same team in this tournament”, commented Laboureur. “They defeated us a couple of days ago in the pools stage, so we watched the film, figured out what we had to improve and came up with some different things. I am glad it worked.”
The German tandem will play in the semifinals against USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross or Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk/Duda Lisboa, who play later this night in the quarterfinals.
The Fort Lauderdale Major women’s semifinals with be disputed on Sunday morning with the medal matches scheduled for the early afternoon.