First semifinal ever for Dutch Van der Vlist and Wesselink

The Hague, the Netherlands, June 15, 2013 – Jantine van der Vlist and Marloes Wesselink claimed their first ever semifinal on the World Tour on Saturday. The Dutch team defeated fourth seeded Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti from Italy in three sets (21-13 18-21 15-10) at the Transavia The Hague Grand Slam.

Van der Vlist and Wesselink, who started the season as a ‘test case team’, but must have proven themselves by now, face Brazil’s Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima at 8 pm. In the other semifinal Brazil’s Maria Clara and Carolina Salgado take on Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler.

Wind makes all teams equal

All quarterfinal teams had to face a strong, gusty wind. Wesselink: “The wind kind of makes all teams equal. The team that deals with the wind best, wins. Rank does not count anymore.” Italy’s Cicolari and Menegatti needed a set to adjust. They lost the first but came back in the second. In the tiebreak the teams were even till 6-6, after that Italy just made a few more errors than the Dutch.

“They started serving better in the second”, Wesselink said. “We kind of got nervous at the idea that we would be in the final four for the first time. But we just focussed on keeping the ball off the ground. In this weather it’s just work hard and don’t think.”

They played their next opponents Talita and Lima a few weeks ago in Argentina. “We lost, but it was close.” Talita has a good track record in The Hague, she won silver in 2009, gold in 2010 and bronze in 2011. The Brazilian team were trailing in the first set of their quarterfinal against Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel, but came back and took the first set 21-18. In the second they overpowered the Dutch team 21-10.

Third semifinal in a row for Maria Clara and Carol

Qualifiers Maria Clara and Carolina Salgado reached their third Grand Slam semifinal in a row this year. The Brazilian sisters defeated Spain’s Elsa Baquerizo and Liliana Fernandez in two sets (21-16 21-18). In Shanghai and Corrientes the recently reunited Maria Clara and Carol ended up with bronze.

In The Hague they play Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler for a spot in the final. The German team eliminated Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Agatha Bednarzcuk 21-16 21-17. The two semifinal opponents met before in the pool phase in The Hague, with Maria Clara and Carol on the winning side.

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