Quarterfinal plus a nice bonus for Dutch Van der Vlist and Wesselink

The Hague, the Netherlands, June 14, 2013 – Dutch Jantine van der Vlist was in tears after reaching the quarterfinals Friday at the Transavia The Hague Grand Slam. Not only because she and Marloes Wesselink beat Germany’s top team Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, but because they just earned a year’s salary.

Finishing in the last eight at a Grand Slam means they have earned an A-status, a stable income provided by the national olympic committee. “This was a very, very important win”, Wesselink said. “This last point was literally worth a year’s salary, until now we had to pinch and scrape every month.”

Germany dominated first set

Ludwig and her new partner Walkenhorst ended on top of their pool on Thursday without set loss and had a bye in the first round. Van der Vlist and Wesselink finished third and played USA’s Fendrick and Hochevar in the morning (21-14 22-20).

In the first set the Germans dominated 21-12. Wesselink: “We started worthless, we really could not do any worse and maybe that was a good thing, because than we thought: we will just go out and play, there are so many people who came to watch us.”

After that the Dutch girls were more relaxed, while Ludwig and Walkenhorst started making more mistakes. Van der Vlist and Wesselink took the second set (21-17) and a 12-9 lead in the tiebreak. Walkenhorst’s serve got the Germans back into the game until she served out at 12-11. Germany could ward off the first match point, but after that Van der Vlist finished the match at 15-13.

First quarterfinal

It was the first time they reached a quarterfinal. In Shanghai, their first Grand Slam together, they finished ninth. Wesselink: “We have proven now that this was not just luck. At the beginning of the season we were put together as a test case, but I think we have proven now that we are a good team together.”

Saturday the Dutch will play fourth seeded Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti from Italy, who had an easy win (21-13 21-9) over Jolien Sinnema and Michelle Stiekema from the Netherlands.

FIVB Transavia Grand Slam tournament page

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