2017-07-01 14:26:00 CEST
Fan favorites deny Norway in epic last-set turnaround
Clemens Doppler was left speechless after he and teammate Alex Horst came back from the dead against Norway’s Mol/Bernstern to book their place in yet another Poreč Major quarterfinal.
The Austrian crowd favorites, who won silver here 12 months ago and were quarterfinalists in 2015, looked set for an early exit as the talented Norwegians led 10-6 in the deciding third and final set.
But Doppler inspired a wonderful comeback as he and Horst won eight of the last 10 points to earn victory and a meeting with Brazilians Pedro Solberg/Guto Carvalhaes later today.
“This is one of our favourite tournaments, we’ve always enjoyed a good level of performance here,” said the 36-year-old. “We were 10-6 down in a set that was first to 15 and most people would have thought that we were going out.
“But that’s the big difference – we can win these kind of matches from such a position. That makes us not easy opponents.
“We were almost out of the tournament and now we play against Brazil in one of the biggest tournaments in the world on a massive stadium with loads of fans. I can’t wait.”
Mol and Bernstern, just 19 and 21 years old, recovered from losing the first set to dominate the second and almost take the third before the Austrians staged their miraculous comeback.
And experienced Clemens believes the performance of the young Norwegian team shows that the future of beach volleyball is in good hands.
“I told them they deserved more today,” he said. “They’re such a good team, I’m a big fan of theirs. They’re such good players, especially given their age.
“That’s the future of beach volleyball and as long as we can keep beating these teams the longer we can go on playing!”
The men’s quarterfinal is now complete and Doppler/Horst’s match against the Brazilians takes place at 7.35pm CET at the Red Bull Beach Arena.
Thank you from the heart!
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