2016-07-01 14:06:00 CEST
Austrian heroes power past Dutch
‘Doppler/Horst on fire, your defense is terrified,’ sang the throng of delighted fans on Center Court as their favorite Austrian team stormed to a sensational straight sets win over reigning Poreč Major champions Alex Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen.
The Dutch had always enjoyed the upper hand against Clemens Doppler and Alex Horst in the past, winning six of the past seven meetings.
But, roared on by a passionate crowd on the banks of the Adriatic, the Austrians delivered: winning 2-0 in epic fashion – their first against Brouwer/Meeuwsen in two years.
“It was unbelievable!” Clemens told us afterwards. “It was different to yesterday as we were the underdogs today and there was less pressure on us.
“But we kept our sideout solid and took risk with our serve but it was solid for us. This is our game, though – last year we proved we could reach this level of performance.
“The next level will be a different story but we need to be consistent. Last year we were able to do that and we were in the top five of the world rankings.
“We know that technically we are as good as the top teams – it’s just the consistency we need to find – and if we do we know we are confident of doing well.”
A happy Horst told us: “I told you yesterday that they were not our favorite opponents – they’re very aggressive, they hit every ball really hard and they are really tough to play against.
“But for ourselves and for the fans it was important we can beat last year’s winners and the World Champions of 2013.”
The defeat for the Dutch means they have a real fight on their hands to retain their title this year.
A disappointed Meeuwsen said: “We didn’t play well at all and now we’ve made it even harder for ourselves.
“In this heat it’s tough. We worked hard but not hard enough – and that’s why they did better than we did.”
The final matches of the men’s Pool Play are coming to a close – stay tuned for the men’s knockout draw later this afternoon.
Thank you from the heart!
Read the third installment of Ben Saxton's Swatch Major Series blog
Gold medalists have to get ready for Gstaad
Stunning comeback gives Brazilian qualifiers gold