Comeback Queens turn silver into gold in Gstaad

Courtesy of Beach Volleyball Major Series – Media Service

April Ross and Alix Klineman of the United States Of America pose for a portrait during the award ceremony at the Beach Volleyball Major Series in Gstaad, Switzerland July 14, 2019 – Photographer Credit: Mihai Stetcu / Beach Volleyball Major Series / Red Bull Content Pool

Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman take the first Major title of the 2019 season in the Swiss Alps

Comeback Queens of the Mountains April Ross and Alix Klineman secured Swatch Major Gstaad gold to add to their silver medal won at last week’s World Championships in Hamburg.

The US duo eventually saw off the challenge of Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Carolina Solberg Salgado 15-21, 21-17, 15-12 in a thrilling three-set affair on the Gstaadium court 1,050 meters above sea level and net 40,000 US Dollars in prize money.

Losing the first set has been a typical theme for the A-Team in the Swiss Alps, as in four of their seven matches they have trailed in matches. It happened again in this final as Maria and Carolina established a lead by winning the opening set, but true to form, April and Alix hit back to win the final two sets.

After the agony of losing in the World Championship final just six days ago, gold tasted so much sweeter than silver at the end of a rollercoaster week for the Americans.

“We would have loved to won last week, so to come back here and win is huge,” said April, who added her second cowbell to her collection after winning silver in 2016.

“I’m so satisfied. We had a terrible start to this tournament and had a devastating loss last week, so to bounce back and fight as hard as we could makes me immensely proud of how we have stayed together.”

The victory also meant Klineman celebrated her first ever Beach Major Series medal since converting from indoor to beach in 2018.

“It’s been grueling, it’s been a battle, physically and mentally, but it’s been an amazing journey,” said Alix.

“Being second at the World Championships was great but it feels even better to be on top of the podium this time.”

There was no time for silver medalists Maria and Carolina to enjoy the moment as the Brazilians quickly departed just minutes after the medal ceremony to catch a flight to Portugal and compete in the next tournament.

In the bronze medal match, Rebecca Cavalcanti and Ana Patricia Ramos from Brazil ended Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli’s medal dream by winning in straight sets (21-14, 21-12).

The South Americans’ victory meant the Swiss finished fourth for the second successive tournament after losing in the bronze medal match at the World Championships last week.

The beach elite will prepare for tournaments in Portugal, Canada and Japan over the next two weeks before the Beach Major Series returns in Vienna for the A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch. The hottest event in the Austrian capital will take place between July 31 and August 4.

You can rewatch all matches of the Swatch Major Gstaad on the Beach Volleyball Major Series’ BeachStream channel.

Swatch Major Gstaad 2019
July 9 – 14


NEXT UP: A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch, July 31 – August 4, 2019

About Beach Volleyball Major Series

Serve, dig, spike, repeat… Since 2015, the Beach Volleyball Major Series has showcased the best athletes in the world of beach volleyball. A joint venture between Red Bull and Hannes Jagerhofer, the series has rapidly expanded to become the most spectacular and popular in the sport. The stops of the Major Series are the highest ranked tournaments on the FIVB World Tour calendar, offering the biggest prize money and guaranteeing world-class entertainment for athletes, partners and fans all around the globe.

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