Porec, Croatia, July 1, 2017 - After placing second in the first two Swatch Major Series events in this Croatian seaside resort, Sarah Pavan finally advanced to the top spot on the Porec Major podium here Saturday evening as she and Canadian partner Melissa Humana-Paredes defeated Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic in the gold medal match.
With the North American pair celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada Day on Saturday, the sixth-seeded Pavan and Humana-Paredes scored a 2-1 (32-34, 21-12, 56) win in 59 minutes over fifth-seeded Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic to share the $40,000 first-place prize.
Despite the setback, the Europeans shared $32,000 for placing second.
Barbora Hermannova (right) hits against Canadian Sarah Pavan (left) as Czech Republic partner Marketa Slukova follows the action.
In previous trips to the Porec Major finale the past two seasons, Pavan and Heather Bansley dropped title matches to teams from Brazil and Germany. It was Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca climbing past Pavan/Humana-Paredes on the 2015 Croatian podium with Germans Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude preventing a Canadian gold medal win last year.
To reach the gold medal match, both pairs won Saturday semifinal matches. Pavan and Humana-Paredes defeated seventh-seeded Barbara Seixas/Fernanda Alves of Brazil 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) in 37 minutes and Hermannova and Slukova posted a 2-1 (22-20, 12-21, 15-10) victory over ninth-seeded Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli of Switzerland.
In the bronze medal match, Betschart and Huberli rebounded with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) win in 36 minutes over Fernanda and Barbara. With the win, the Brazilians shared $20,000 and the young Swiss pair split $16,000.