Moscow, Russia, August 17, 2019 – Karla Borger & Julia Sude, currently the highest ranked German women’s pair, are keen on going back to Rome for the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals next month. The Eternal City brings back good memories for each of them, they told fivb.com at the venue of the Moscow four-star stop, where they have already reached the quarterfinals.
“We are very happy to be in the quarterfinals. I think the weeks before were not so good for us,” 31-year-old Julia Sude said despite their top-four finish at the Tokyo four-star in late July. “We tried a lot to improve. The most important part was not give up and fight for every point.”
After finishing 17th at the European Championship in Moscow last week, this week at the same venue Borger & Sude have already improved on that result. Having lost their first match in the pool on Thursday, on Friday they managed three straight-set victories on the way to the last eight. Saturday’s quarterfinal stage will start with a top-level clash between the Germans and Spain’s Liliana Fernandez Steiner & Elsa Baquerizo McMillan.
“I think to have three matches in one day is hard for anyone. It was really tough, because every team here on the World Tour is really hard to play against. You have to give your maximum and it’s a lot of work to achieve good results,” commented 30-year-old Karla Borger, a 2016 Rio Olympian.
Within a big reshuffle in the German women’s pairings, Borger & Sude teamed up at the beginning of this year and seem to have progressed the most among their fellow colleagues. They finished ninth at the World Championship in Hamburg, the best result among all the home teams. Currently, they are also placed the highest in the FIVB World Ranking among all German duos. In the framework of the race for the 2020 Olympic spots, this gives Borger & Sude an important advantage over their compatriots.
“We fought a lot in our youth; we always competed a lot with each other. We have a good national tour in Germany, so we are used to this competition. But we are grown up now and we are just trying to get the best results internationally, so we can qualify for the Olympic Games,” Sude pointed out.
“We have to keep our eyes on us, on our own team, because it’s still a little disadvantage that we have been playing together for less than a year, while all the top teams have at least four years together, so they know each other, they know how to work, they’ve been through a lot of situations,” Borger added. “We do feel as a team, but there is still always something new to improve. We are trying to be more consistent - that’s the plan for the rest of the season and for next year as well.”
Karla Borger in action against reigning European champions Latvia on the way to Moscow eighthfinals
Borger & Sude find their names against the number 16 in the main draw pre-seeding for the World Tour Finals in Rome, again the highest placed German team. They both have some great memories from their past experiences in the Italian capital and reminisce about them in anticipation of the big event.
At the 2011 World Championship in Rome, Julia Sude played alongside Jana Koehler and they finished fifth.
“I remember the World Championship in Rome,” she said. “It was a really, really nice venue, with a huge stadium around the centre court. I didn’t get to play on the centre court then, but I am really looking forward to going back to Rome and maybe this time I will get that chance. We are excited, because it’s the last big tournament in the end of the season.”
Borger played at the Rome Grand Slam twice. In 2012, she and Britta Buethe started from the qualifications and finished fifth, and in 2013, they made it all the way to the semifinals.
“I really liked the tournament. I have good memories of playing well and having a good time. I do like the city a lot as well and I think it’s going to be warmer than here in Moscow. It’s a fascinating old city, with a lot of history and a lot of nice coffee places and restaurants... And I love pizza!” Borger wrapped it up with a smile.
Is Karla Borger pointing the way to the Moscow podium or practicing how to order pizza in Rome? Or maybe both?
The World Tour Finals are scheduled to take place at the Foro Italico in Rome from September 3 through 8.
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