03.08.2019 - Vienna, Austria
Carolina Salgado and Maria Elisa Antonelli will be back in a Beach Major Series final for the second time in just three weeks as the Brazilians, who claimed silver in Gstaad, advanced to the gold medal match of the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.
Carol and Maria Antonelli, who started their campaigns at the Danube Island in the qualifier on Tuesday, won their seventh-straight match in the Austrian capital, an All-Brazilian semi-final match-up with Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima 21-16, 35-37, 15-13, to guarantee a medal in the tournament after leaving empty-handed in 2018, when they finished fourth.
“It’s great to have these results at this time of the year because that’s how we planned our preparation”, Maria said. “After being on the road for six weeks and missing our families, to get to the final here is really rewarding. We saw a lot of teams so tired over the week and just wanting to go home, but all we wanted was to be playing until the very last match and that shows how strong we are.”
Carol and Maria had to deal with a tough 37-35 loss in the longest set of the tournament but came back to reverse a 7-4 disadvantage in the tie-breaker to take the match.
“It was exhausting, I can barely walk right now,” the defender added. “But every time I looked to my side I’d see the fire on Carol’s eyes and there was no way I would slow down. We really pushed it each other on this match.”
The Brazilians had met just two weeks ago in a very different situation, though, as they faced off at the country-quota of the four-star event in Espinho, when Talita and Taiana came out of on top and sent Carol and Maria packing way too early. Now, it was their turn.
“It’s always that crazy with us Brazilians,” Carol added. “We’ve been battling on country-quotas and today one of us would be in the final and it could absolutely either of us because they’re an amazing team. Sometimes it seems unfair when we lose a country-quota and miss the tournament and it’s tough to handle it, but that just makes us stronger.”