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2016-07-30 18:05:00 CEST

Opening defeat helped champions focus

Ludwig/Walkenhorst banish shock set-back to triumph by the Wörthersee

Losing the first game helped the Germans focus said Laura Ludwig. Photocredit: Martin SteinthalerLosing the first game helped the Germans focus said Laura Ludwig. Photocredit: Martin Steinthaler

They lost their first game of the tournament to the rank-outsiders and wildcards from American but in the match that mattered most, Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst did what comes naturally: winning!

Yes, the German pair were stunned by Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes in one of the shocks of the tournament but in the final of the A1 Major Klagenfurt, Ludwig/Walkenhorst marched to their sixth gold of the season and a second in the Swatch Major Series.

“That defeat seems a long time ago!” laughed Laura. “But that focused our minds. We knew the Americans could play. We had been practicing a lot and we hadn’t played for a while – that’s not an excuse though.

“Perhaps it was a good time to lose because it showed us what we needed to work on. Not just in a general way but in each and every individual moment and I think we learned a lot from that.”

Ludwig/Walkenhorst scooped the smart Major Hamburg back in June and won bronze at the Gstaad Major earlier this month.

With such an ever-growing collection of medals they will need to be extra careful at passport control!

But, seriously, did they ever dream of having such a successful season?

“A little!” said Laura. “We knew we were playing consistent beach volleyball. Consistency was the thing that we had been missing in recent years.

“It’s been an amazing journey so far and we’re not finished yet.”

Congratulations girls!

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