Courtesy of Beach Volleyball Major Series Media Service Team
Americans use their experience to hold Borger/Kozuch
Kerri Walsh Jennings’ feelings for Gstaad are well-documented, but every time she goes up to the mountains to play in the Swatch Major Gstaad, they erupt again. After all, it has been 17 years playing in the Swiss Alps and several memories to rejoice in one of the most iconic sports locations of the planet.
It was in Gstaad, by the way, where the 39-year-old American star won the first of her 83 medals in the World Tour, a bronze with former partner Misty May-Treanor back in 2001, in just her second international tournament.
“I just have some memories of the Cuban team (Tamara Peraza/Dalixia Grasset) we had to beat to get to the final day, to be honest,” she recalled. “And it was my first time here, so you never forget that, but I think it’s very appropriate that my first time on the podium was here. It feels like home to me. I grew up in Northern California in the woods and everything is fresh and clean, just like here. I have a deep respect for this place.”
Kerri has already won six gold medals in the Swiss Alps, which he says “is not enough”. If she can add another cowbell to her collection, she’ll make World Tour history as she will tie the legendary Emanuel Rego as the athlete with more titles in the same location – the Brazilian won seven golds in Stavanger, Norway, between 1999 and 2006.
The American and her partner Nicole Branagh began the Gstaad Major on the right foot as they defeated Germans Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch in straight sets (24-22, 21-19) this Wednesday, in the first match of Pool E.
They will return to the sand on Thursday to face Czechs Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova for the first place of the pool.
“I think we were very consistent,” Kerri added. “We handled their tough serves very well and that we played really good defense. We stuck to our game plan and we were very simple and very disciplined, but very effective. They are a very good team that can come back in a heartbeat, but we never let off the gas, we just kept pushing.”