Vienna, Austria, August 4, 2018 - It will be South America vs. Europe for the women’s gold medal at the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch as Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas of Brazil and Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic won semifinal matches here on Saturday mid-day.
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Seeded fourth in the $600,000 FIVB World tour event, Fernanda and Barbara scored a 2-0 (21-17, 23-21) win in 50 minutes to win the second semifinal match over 16th-seeded Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands, who captured the European continental championship two week ago in The Hague.
“We work very hard for these moments,” said the 33-year old Fernanda after the match. “The energy on centre court is just amazing and we have so much fun playing in front of these amazing fans. We just want to be out there in these amazing games and do our best.”
Barbara, who captured the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Agatha Bednarczuk, added: “We believed until the end. Fernanda was very attentive about what she had to do at the net and we found a good way to neutralize the Dutch. In the end of the second set our defensive system worked and that was the difference.”
The seventh-seeded Hermannova/Slukova advanced to the Vienna Major finals where the winning team will share the $40,000 first-place prize by posting a 2-0 (22-20, 21-19) semifinal win in 44 minutes over 10th-seeded Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado of Brazil.
Marketa Slukova (left) and Barbora Hermannova of the Czech Republic
Saturday afternoon's Vienna Major women’s final will be the fourth FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams with Hermannova and Slukova holding a 2-1 edge in the series with Fernanda and Barbara, who celebrated her 31st birthday on Friday by winning two matches to gain a spot in the final four.
With the Vienna major being the 371st women’s event on the FIVB World Tour since the start of the circuit in August 1992, the Czech Republic is 1-0 against Brazil in gold medal matches as Slukova and her London 2012 Olympic partner Kristyna Kolocova defeated Antonelli/Juliana Felisberta 2-1 (21-14, 18-21, 15-12) in a 53-minute finale on June 22, 2014 in Berlin.
With Hermannova/Slukova playing in their fourth FIVB finale in 33 World Tour events together with a 2-1 gold medal match record, Fernanda and Barbara are 3-0 in international finals in 16 events with two titles coming this season in stops in the United States at Fort Lauderdale and Huntington Beach where the title contests were all-Brazilian affairs.