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2018-08-01 17:20:00 CET

Birthday girl Duda into Round of 16

The Brazilian and her partner Agatha had a pair of victories to progress in the Danube Island

Agatha and Duda won matches against teams from Russia and the USAAgatha and Duda won matches against teams from Russia and the USA

It couldn’t have been a happier birthday for Duda Lisboa as the Brazilian rising star turned 20 in the first day of the women’s main draw of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch and partner Agatha Bednarcuzk and her celebrated the date with a pair of victories that advanced the Brazilians to the Round of 16 in the Danube Island.

The third-seeded team of the tournament in Vienna, Agatha and Duda claimed a couple of two-set victories to top Pool C. The Brazilians debuted with a 21-14, 21-15 victory over Russians Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova and followed it up with a 21-12, 21-15 triumph over Americans Sara Hughes and Summer Ross.

After the second game, the defender was celebrated by the ball boys, who sung happy birthday to her.

“I love playing beach volleyball and just to be able to do it on my birthday is so special,” Duda said afterwards. “I couldn’t have a better way to celebrate it. I wanted to give those victories myself as a gift. Last year I was here in Vienna too for the World Championships and we lost to the Dutch team and I was so upset about it. I’m glad I had this opportunity to erase those memories.”

Duda high fives a ball boy after the gameDuda high fives a ball boy after the game

Being on the road during her birthday is nothing new to Duda, though. The situation has become a constant on her life and started during her successful youth and junior career, which saw her win a total of five age-group World Championships besides of the gold medal at the 2014 Youth Olympics.

But you think that’s something that bothers her, well, that’s not exactly the case.

“I’ve been on the road on my birthday for the last five years, I think,” she commented. “And I like it. Of course as an athlete you know you won’t be with your family in these special dates, but that’s the price we pay for it. As long as I’m playing on this day, I’ll be fine.”

Also winning their pools in Vienna were the Netherlands'  Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink, Italy's Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth, Brazil's  Carolina Salgado/Maria Elisa Antonelli, Poland's Kinga Kolosinska/Katarzyna Kociolek, Australia's Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy and USA's Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar and Lauren Fendrick/Sarah Sponcil.

Happy birthday, Duda!

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