03.08.2019 - Vienna, Austria
Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa have won their second medal in a week as they came out on top of the all-Brazilian bronze medal match of the A1 Major Vienna Major presented by Swatch with a 31-29, 21-19 victory over compatriots Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima at the Red Bull Beach Arena.
The match was interrupted near the end of the first set due to severe weather conditions as the Danube Island, which forced the postponement of the gold medal match between Brazil’s Carol Salgado/Maria Elisa Antonelli and Canada’s Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes to Sunday at 11.30 CEST.
“I think this was one of the toughest medals I’ve ever won,” Agatha said. “We’re on the road for six weeks now and I feel that we are really at our limits here after playing in Japan last week, but we wanted to win it very badly. When the match got interrupted, we remembered that had just happened with us on Wednesday and that we lost to the Americans after it resumed, so we focused on warming up really well and it worked.”
The third-place finish has given them not only the bronze medals, but also important points which catapulted them to the first spot of the Brazilian Olympic qualification system, which considers the best results of each team in World Tour four and five-star events.
After Vienna, Agatha and Duda will take the lead as they reached 5,910 points against 5,750 of Ana Patrícia Ramos and Rebecca Cavalcanti, who finished ninth in the tournament.
“That’s good to know, but I actually try to not pay much attention to it,” Duda reflected. “I’m a very anxious person and if I were to get to really worry about all this points stuff, it would do more bad than good to me, so all I care about is what we can control. That’s something Agatha has really helped me with, especially being my first Olympic race. Of course I have a pretty good idea on where we stand, but as long as we’re getting good finishes we’ll be fine.”
That anxiety, however, didn’t show on arguably the most crucial point of the match, when Agatha and Duda were trailing 18-13 on the second set and it was the young defender, who turned 21 on Thursday, who stepped up and came up with a solution.
“It was tough, we were five points behind and nothing was really working for us,” Agatha added. “In moments like these, I’m normally the one to make the decisions but I kept quiet this time and it was Duda who found us a way out. She said we should try a short serve on Taiana and it worked really well. That was the turning point for us.”