12.07.2019 - Gstaad
Every year we say it. Every year a Major has been here in the mountains the talk has been whether a Swiss team can win their home tournament.
No women’s team has ever won gold in the 20 years of beach volleyball in Gstaad. The last time any Swiss women won a medal was back in 2012. You’ve probably already read that on our website as we mention it every year…
Well, it’s another year, and one team remain and they are Tanja Hüberli and Nina Betschart.
But could it be different this year? Do these Swiss stars stand a realistic chance of claiming only the second women’s cowbell in two decades of competition in the Alps?
After Tanja and Nina edged out Brazil’s Barbara and Fernanda you would think so. After they came oh-so close to reaching the World Championship final you would think so. They are in the form of their lives right now. Now the pair are just one win away from playing for a medal in front of their friends and family.
At the World Championships, it took Hüberli and Betschart three long, energy-sapping sets to overcome the same opposition in the quarter-finals. That night in the Red Bull Beach Arena the team from Switzerland came back from losing the first set to win. Here, in Gstaad, it was different. They led but were pegged back. Another nail-biting final set followed as the lead swung one way and then the next. Eventually, after 57 minutes, the ball fell in the Swiss’ favor.
Now the quarter-finals beckon, and the duo now face Slovakians Natalia Dubovcova and Andrea Strbova – a team who have already defeated Agatha and Duda and Sandra Ittlinger and Chantal Laboureur here in the mountains. The two teams met in Hamburg last week. The Swiss ousted the Slovakians in three sets.
In front of a passionate home crowd, who would bet against another nerve-jangling three-set thriller on the Center Court.
Is this where the story ends or will the dream live on? Find out on Saturday.