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2018-08-04 18:36:00 CEST

Czech comeback stuns Brazil

Hermannová/Sluková win first Major title in Vienna

Barbora (left) and Marketa all smiles after their Vienna Major triumphBarbora (left) and Marketa all smiles after their Vienna Major triumph

Czech stars Barbora Hermannová and Markéta Sluková staged a remarkable comeback to be crowned the queens of the Danube Island with a magnificent victory over Brazilians Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves at the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.

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For the Europeans it was their first Beach Volleyball Major Series gold medal which denied the South Americans back-to-back Major titles after winning their last in Fort Lauderdale in March.

However, a gold medal for the Czech pair looked unlikely after a one-sided first set saw Barbara and Fernanda race into a massive 10 point lead before taking the first set 21-10.

It was a different story in the second set, however, as Barbora and Markéta took charge, leading by five points, and although the Brazilians tried to close the gap, it was the Czech girls that took the game to a decider, winning 21-16.

With not a spare seat in the house, the gold medal looked to be heading Brazil’s way in the final set as Barbara and Fernanda led early 3-0 and 4-1. But, backed by a huge crowd, Hermannová and Slukova stormed back to lead and take the title 15-12.

“I don’t believe it, we really wanted this trophy and it feels amazing,” said 27-year-old Barbora. “I must praise Maki because she went all tournament with pain on her shoulder. It was fantastic what she did. Sometimes it didn’t look like. She was fantastic.”

Slukova added: “We lost on 10 and it was hard to score points. It was not a good feeling. But we really like to play here, the fans are amazing, and we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves here. We fought for them.”

The Czech girls celebrated their first title and second gold medal of the season with a check for 40,000 USD.

In the bronze medal match, there was delight for Dutch duo Madeleine Meppelink and Sanne Keizer as they took third place on the podium after an excellent 21-19, 21-18 victory over Brazil’s Carol Solberg Salgado and Maria Elisa Mendes Ticon Antonelli. The win completed a fine two weeks for the Netherlands team, after their European Championship title last week.

The A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch reaches its final day on Sunday with the men’s gold medal match scheduled at 5.30pm CEST.

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