2017-07-06 20:35:00 CET
No golden cowbell for Hüberli/Betschart as Americans advance
They almost exited the tournament this morning but Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh ended the day in the hat for the last 16 of the Gstaad Major after knocking out crowd favorites Tanja Hüberli and Nina Betschart.
The Swiss were the top seeds in the women’s tournament, and were looking to add to their Poreč Major bronze they won in Croatia last week.
They looked set to book a meeting with Brazilians Agatha/Duda in the last 16 when they won the first set 21-18.
But never write off three-time Olympic champion Kerri. She and Nicole found the reserves to battle back and take the second set 21-19. The Americans opened up a five-point lead at one point only for the Swiss girls to battle back. However, Hüberli and Betschart missed a great chance to level and that handed Kerri and Nicole the initiative.
It was a tight deciding set that followed but even though the home team were backed by a noisy crowd on Center Court, they were unable to see off the experienced Americans and Tanja and Nina left the court in tears.
“I’m feeling very happy – it was an intense battle against a very good team who are playing full of confidence right now,” said Kerri. “We’re only just getting ready so I was proud of our performance, especially from Nicole. They picked on her and she stayed strong and didn’t break.
“It was a tough pool. We had two chances to win the matches yesterday so we were determined to win. Today was a clean day and now the aim is to get better and better.”
So Kerri and Nicole make the last 16 of the Gstaad Major and they are joined by one other American team in Kelly Claes and Sara Hughes, who take on the sole remaining Swiss team in the competition, Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Heidrich.
Last year’s winners Larissa/Talita remain in the hunt to make it three Gstaad Major titles on the spin and they take on fellow Brazilians Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves for a place in the quarterfinals.
Three German teams make up the last 16, including Julia Grossner and Nadja Glenzke. The duo take on last week’s Poreč Major gold medalists Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes. In another Canada versus Germany clash, Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson meet Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude.