30.07.2019 - Vienna
As the light began to fade on side court 4, Laura Ludwig and Maggie Kozuch called up on all their energy and experience to beat their second Greek opponents of a long first day of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.
And Ludwig, who is making her first return to the Danube Island since winning the world title with Kira Walkenhorst in 2017, and Kozuch were made to work hard for their second victory which ensured their path to the main draw and pool play which begins on Wednesday.
It began simply enough. A straight sets victory over Dimitra Manavi and Konstantina Tspoulou in just 29 minutes ensured their day would continue. Their prize was poor opposition from Greece, and more of a test against Vasiliki Arvaniti and Penny Karagkouni.
And so it proved. Despite leading in the first set, Laura and Maggie contrived to lose the first set, 24-22.
Behind, the Germans needed to dig deep to keep themselves in the tournament and to the delight of the crowd who had gathered to see the final match of the day reach a conclusion, Ludwig and Kozuch closed out the second set 21-18.
To a third set we went. An early German advantage was quickly wiped out by Arvantini and Karagkouni but, with game tied at 13-13, Laura and Maggie showed their class to edge a dramatic tie-breaker 15-13.
In the remaining three matches that concluded the first day of the tournament, there were victories for USA’s Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman, Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka of Latvia and Brazilians Taiana Lima and Talita Antunes.
The women’s pool play begins at 9.30am CEST on Wednesday, while the men’s qualification will come to a conclusion with two rounds of matches, beginning at 1.30pm CEST. Among those in action are the Netherlands’ Alex Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen and two Austrian teams, Tobias Winter and Julian Hörl and Xandi Huber and Christoph Dressler.