30.08.2020 - Vienna, Austria
The experience will always play a factor in beach volleyball, and it happened again this weekend when veterans Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst claimed the title of the Austrian Tour. The Strauss twins Teresa and Nadine won the women’s tournament in Baden.
Doppler, 39, and Horst, 37, needed to make use of all the knowledge they accumulated in almost 20 years of international competition and three Olympic Games to overcome their young challengers during another weekend of beach volleyball in Baden.
The veterans, who won the silver medal at the 2017 World Championships in Vienna, experienced yet another memorable moment on their home sand this weekend after they downed 26-year-old Tobias Winter and 28-year-old Julian Hörl in the three-set (21-19, 18-21, 15-10) gold medal match.
“There are so many young players coming after us,” Doppler, who won his ninth national title, reflected with a laugh. “If we don’t play our absolute best, we can’t win. For me, this is one of the most important national titles I’ve ever won; it’s very emotional. I won my first Austrian Championship in 2001, and to have another gold medal around my neck 20 years later; it means a lot.”
Robin Seidl and Phillip Waller secured the bronze medal with a 21-16, 21-19 triumph over Alexander Huber and Christoph Dressler.
The women’s tournament saw the twins Nadine and Teresa celebrate a national title together for the first time – Teresa won the 2017 edition of the championship with Stephanie Schwaiger. The 24-year-old twins had to sweat, but they downed Julia Radl and Anja Dörfler after three sets (13-21, 22-20, 15-11).
“Sometimes it takes us some time to get into our best game,” Nadine said about their first-set defeat. “But we never gave up on being Austrian champions. When we scored the final point, it was such a great feeling. We always wanted to win this tournament together, and we hope it’s the first of many.”
AUSTRIAN CHAMPION 🥇🍾 ------------------------ Thank you all for your support! 😘 And thanks to the organizers for hosting an awesome tournament, good job👏🏼 Foto: @schroetterflorian . . . . . . #austrianchampionship#winner#beachvolleyball#bvbaden20#sportlandnoe#raiffeisenbank_regionbaden#polizeisport
The final podium spot went to Lena Plesiutschnig and Dorina Klinger, who prevailed over Viktoria Fink and Eva Freiberger after three sets (21-16, 19-21, 15-12) in the bronze medal match.
Lupo and Nicolai take the Italian title
Another popular duo of silver medalists, the Rio 2016 Olympics runner-ups Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo, also got to celebrate a national title on Sunday after they won the Italian Championships in Caorle. Sara Breidenbach and Giada Benazzi were the winners among the women.
Nicolai and Lupo, who had last appeared in a beach volleyball tournament in March, in a World Tour stop in Doha, returned to the sand in great form as they secured their third national title after an 18-21, 21-13, 15-11 victory over Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi. Andrea Abbiati and Tiziano Andreatta claimed the bronze medals.
“It was very important and very nice to get back to playing,” Nicolai, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, reflected. “The final had a very high level and I believe we can play even better as we feel we’re a little behind because of the break. This tournament wasn’t our main priority this season, but winning is always special and we’ll try to build from this victory to be better at the European Championships.”
The women’s tournament saw surprising winners as the 28-year-old Breidenbach and the 27-year-old Benazzi weren’t among the favorites to take the title. They secured the gold medals with a three-set win (22-24, 21-14, 16-14) over Claudia Scampoli and Margherita Bianchin. Dallila Varrassi and Chiara They finished third, ahead of past winners Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth.
“This is very unexpected,” Breidenbach admitted. “It’s our first tournament together and we prepared for it in different cities. I don’t know to explain how I’m feeling right now, but I think our victory shows that we you believe in something, it can happen.”