2018-07-24 12:00:00 CET
After they missed the Swatch Major Gstaad, the Brazilians cannot wait to compete in the Danube Island
Being sidelined at an important tournament is definitely something painful for world-class athletes - and if their sport is beach volleyball and the event we’re talking about is the Swatch Major Gstaad, well, then it's a little bit tougher to take.
That was the exact feeling for Brazilians Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Berti as they couldn’t compete in the Swiss Alps earlier this month. Luckily for them, though, the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch is coming up next week, from August 1-5, and they will have another opportunity to be in a unique environment in just a few days.
The Brazilians had even made the trip up to the mountains after they were done competing in the four-star tournament in Espinho the week before. But with Fernanda feeling a slight discomfort on her right shoulder after she landed on it while trying to save a ball during the event, they decided to be cautious and withdrew from the Swatch Major Gstaad, returning to Brazil while every other team in the world was able to compete in one of the most amazing tournaments in the international calendar.
“It was so frustrating,” Fernanda told us. “Gstaad is a special place and it’s always fantastic to play in such a beautiful city and one that has such a huge tradition with the sport. But just thinking about it and regretting we couldn’t play wouldn’t help, so we just focused in Vienna knowing that Gstaad will be there next year, amazing as always, waiting for us.”
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Fernanda had her shoulder, in which she had surgery on three years ago, checked when they arrived in Brazil and, as it showed no signs of injury, that allowed the Brazilians, who won the Fort Lauderdale Major back in March, to use the unintended week off to start their preparation to compete in the Austrian capital.
“Every situation has a positive side and having an extra week to prepare for Vienna, especially after some tough weeks on the road, was exactly this,” explains Fernanda. “We tried to take advantage of it and worked very hard because resting at this point of the season is not an option.”
On the Danube Island, Barbara and Fernanda will also have a chance to build some better memories from the Austrian capital as their campaign at last year’s World Championships didn’t live up to their expectations as they finished 17th, winning just one of their four matches at the tournament.
In 2018, the Brazilians, who also won a World Tour four-star event in Huntington Beach in May, enter the Vienna Major as the top-seeded team and with higher expectations.
“Last year’s World Championships in Vienna were amazing, it was a unique atmosphere,” Barbara, a silver medalist of the Rio 2016 Olympics, recalls. “At the time we were going through several internal adjustments in our team and our result wasn’t what we wanted, but we’re confident it we’ll do better this year and we’re really looking forward to experience the energy in Vienna again.”
And even if the results don’t go their way, Barbara and Fernanda will be pleased just to be doing that one thing beach volleyball players enjoy the most.
“We live to compete, it’s like an addiction and we already miss the goosebumps of being on the court,” Barbara told us. “We cannot wait to play in Vienna. We know how important it is to play in a Beach Major Series event and we want to do really well there.”
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