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2018-03-02 22:10:00 CEST

Playing for a different ending

Barbara and Fernanda advance to the quarter-finals, but expect to get further than in 2017

A pumped Barbara Seixas celebrates Brazil's victoryA pumped Barbara Seixas celebrates Brazil's victory

When Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Berti entered the Red Bull Beach Arena to play in the Round of 16 of the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Major, the Brazilians had a familiar feeling. In the other side of the court were Canada’s Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley, the same team they had played in the exactly same stage of the tournament on last year’s edition.

The match had the same outcome of 2017, with the Brazilians winning in three sets (16-21, 21-19, 15-13), but they hope the coincidences end there as that was their last victory on their first tournament together, which ended with them in ninth-place. Now they want more.

“We thought about that before the match,” Fernanda told us. “It was actually the third time we played them, all in the same stage of the tournament and I’m glad we won all three, but it’s always hard, they are very good defensively. Now we want to get further than we did last year.”

The Brazilians, who will play Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova, who eliminated Russian qualifiers Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina in three sets (21-18, 18-21, 15-6), in the quarter-finals had their qualification seriously jeopardized as the Canadians had control for most of the second and third sets before they turned things around.

“I’m proud of Fernanda, she really kept her mind strong even when we were struggling a little bit,” Barbara added. “We had some difficult moments, but we managed to keep our focus and always try to anticipate what their next move would be. It’s great that we always have great opponents, that helps us to get better every match.”

The other quarter-final matchup in the Fort Lauderdale Major will feature other Brazilian team, the one of Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa, which took down veteran Americans Lauren Fendrick and Nicole Branagh in straight sets (21-16, 21-17).

Their opponents will be Isabel Schneider and Victoria Bienek, who had the upper hand in the German battle with Kim Behrens and Sandra Ittlinger, winning in three sets – 21-15, 16-21, 15-11.

The quarterfinals will take place on Friday’s night session, all in the Red Bull Beach Arena (click here to see the full schedule). The semifinals and medal matches will end the women’s tournament on Saturday.

Quarterfinals (all times EST)

5pm - Borger/Kozuch (GER) v Taiana/Carol Horta (BRA)

6pm – Barbara/Fernanda (BRA) v Slukova/Hermannova (CZE)

7pm – Agatha/Duda (BRA) v Bieneck/Schneider (GER)

8pm - Pavan/Humana-Paredes (CAN) v Sweat/Ross (USA)

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