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2018-07-14 16:44:00 CET

Canada v Germany for Gstaad final

Bansley/Wilkerson and Sude/Laboureur set to clash in the women’s tournament second semifinal

Bansley and Wilkerson will play in their fourth semifinal in five tournamentsBansley and Wilkerson will play in their fourth semifinal in five tournaments

Canada will have teams competing in both semifinals of the Swatch Major Gstaad’s women tournament as Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson advanced to the Final Four in the Swiss Alps. The second-seeded team in the tournament, the Canadians will play defending champions Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur of Germany for a spot in the final on Sunday.

To advance to their first Beach Major Series semifinal together and their fourth Final Four appearance in their last five tournaments, Heather and Brandie posted a 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) quarterfinal victory over Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova. The Czechs have been frequent opponents for them as the teams have met five times in just eight World Tour tournaments in 2018, with the Canadians coming out on top in four of them.

“It’s tough, we need to be ready for anything,” Swiss-born Brandie said after the game. “They are going to keep changing their ways and we will need to keep adjusting and keep our standards high and making sure that we don’t slip up because the second we are not at our game they will take advantage.”

Brandie and Heather, who gold, silver and bronze medals all in the last two months in the World Tour, are now giving another step forward with their first semifinal in the Beach Major Series. But they want to keep pushing forward.

“It’s going well for us,” Heather acknowledged. “It’s exciting, it’s our second season together and we’re improving as individuals and athletes. We have a new coach and the goal is to keep working really hard and improving."

Sude and Laboureur needed patience to take the Japanese downSude and Laboureur needed patience to take the Japanese down

Their semifinal opponents, Julia and Chantal didn’t have an easier path to the semifinals as they were challenged by Japan’s qualifiers Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami in the quarterfinals, but made though with a two-set victory (28-26, 21-11).

“We were very prepared to play them,” Julia commented. “We watched their games in the tournament and I knew it would be an exhausting game for me because I’d have to pull off the net every time. But they were great. Their size limits them a little bit, but they do everything they can really well, so we give them a lot of credit.”

The Germans rebounded in the tournament after a setback in their opening match, but came back strong with four straight victories to make it to the semifinals. Now they want to retain their cowbells for another year.

“The Canadians are a really good team,” Chantal added. “We’ve played them two weeks ago and they’ve been in most of the semifinals in the last tournaments, so they are really on top of their games. We’ll watch the videos and prepare so we can get to the final again.”

The teams have met five times in the World Tour already and the Germans have won three of them. The Canadians, however, prevailed in the last two, including a gold medal match in Warsaw two weeks ago.

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