Gstaad, Switzerland, July 13, 2019 - Ana Patricia Silva and Rebecca Cavalcanti posted Saturday's biggest upset in the women's competition here on the Swiss Alps village center court at the US$600,000 Swatch as the young Brazilians eliminated defending champions Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan of Canada in a quarter-final match.
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With the second-seeded Humana-Paredes and Pavan the newly-crowned world champions after winning the FIVB title last Saturday in Germany, Ana Patricia and Rebecca stunned the Canadians with a 2-1 (21-14, 18-21, 15-9) win in 50 minutes to advance to Sunday's semi-finals.
"It was a very tough match because Sarah and Melissa are in great form," said the 21-year old Ana Patricia. "This is a very important finish for us already because of Olympic qualification and we’re very excited to be in the semi-finals.”
A 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic champion with Eduarda "Duda" Lisboa, Ana Patricia added that "losing a set is always hard especially after playing so well on the first. But we got back to a good rhythm on the third set and were able to impose our game again.”
Currently the No. 1-ranked team on the FIVB's Olympic provisional list for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, Ana Patricia and Rebecca defeated Humana-Paredes and Pavan for the first-time after losing twice in 2018 to the Canadians in Portugal and the United States.
From the Canadians, Humana-Paredes said "my sideout wasn’t consistent enough. We were making too many errors on the sideout. We weren’t playing a lot of balls, we weren’t able to regroup and get on a roll there."
And Pavan added that her team was "obviously happy with what happened in Hamburg, but it could have been much better with a win today."
With the win, Ana Patricia and Rebecca will play compatriots Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado Sunday morning for a spot in the afternoon’s gold medal match. The 15th-seeded Antonelli and Carolina, who had to win qualifying match Tuesday, posted a 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) victory in 42 minutes over ninth-seeded and reigning European champions Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink of The Netherlands.
“We know them very well and that just makes want to study them even more to get us ready for another good match,” said Ana Patricia about playing their Brazilian rivals Sunday. Antonelli and Carolina posted wins over Ana Patricia and Rebecca last year in Portugal and the United States before losing to the younger players at the end of April in China.
On the Olympic provisional ranking list as of July 8, Rebecca/Ana Patricia are No. 1 followed by No. 11 Agatha/Duda and No. 13 Carolina/Antonelli. With a guaranteed fourth-place finish this week, Carolina/Antonelli are now tied in points on the provisional ranking list with Agatha/Duda as both teams have 4,280 points.
A team's best 12 finishes are used in determining the 15 qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a maximum of two teams per country allowed. Rebecca/Ana Patricia are the run-away leaders on the provisional list with 7,360 with 11 counting events.
Sunday’s other semi-final match will pit top-seeded Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli of host Switzerland against third-seeded Alix Klineman/April Ross of the United States. The Americans have won both FIVB World Tour meetings with Betschart and Huberli, including a pool play win June 13 in Poland at the Warsaw Open.
Betschart and Huberli advanced to Sunday’s schedule with a 2-1 (14-21, 21-18, 15-9) quarter-final win in 47 minutes over 18-seeded Natalia Dubovcova/Andrea Strbova of the Slovak Republic in Saturday’s last women’s match.
In Saturday’s first quarter-final match on the center court, Klineman and Ross defeated seventh-seeded American rivals Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) in 36 minutes.