2018-07-15 13:00:00 CEST
Second successive Gstaad final for Laboureur/Sude
When it mattered most and with a place in the final on the line – the willpower to retain their title pulled Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude through a seesaw battle in the Swatch Major Gstaad semifinal.
Just like the first semifinal, this one also went the distance, and boy was the deciding set a nail-biter.
Canada’s Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson beat the Germans in Warsaw two weeks ago and became favorites to seal another place in the final after taking a tight first set 27-25.
However, with an iconic cowbell and their title on the line, Julia and Chantal hit back and dominated the second set, taking charge to level the scores at 21-14.
The third set went one way and then the next. Goosebumps don’t lie. Both teams traded match points as the set ticked into overtime. In the end, after one hour and nine minutes – the longest match of the tournament so far – with revenge in their heads and the desire to keep their cowbells, it was Laboureur/Sude that celebrated.
The Germans’ victory denied a little piece of history – never in World Tour history has there been an all-Canadian gold medal match. Chantal and Julia will meet Canadian world number ones Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan in the final at 2.45pm CET.
“It wasn’t easy but we’re proud that we stayed patient in the end,” said Chantal afterwards. “We’ve had to battle a lot in this tournament and now we’re aiming for gold again like we did last year.”
Julia added: “When we lost the first set that gave us the determination to come back and winning the second gave us self-confidence to complete the job in the third.”
Both teams already have Beach Major Series titles to their names. Laboureur/Sude hold two (Poreč 2016, Gstaad 2017) and Pavan/Humana-Paredes (Poreč 2017).
Don’t forget to watch the final live on BeachStream!
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