In the heat of Rome, Svenja Müller and Cinja Tillmann stayed cool and were the only German team to reach the quarterfinals at the beach volleyball world championships. “We’ve improved from game to game. And that’s why I’m very proud that we did it,” said Cinja Tillmann on Thursday after the 2-1 win against the strong Americans Terese Cannon and Sarah Sponcil.
Previously, Karla Borger and Julia Sude were eliminated as the penultimate of the five German couples. The Stuttgart women failed in the round of 16 at the Canadians Sophie Bukovec and Brandie Wilkerson with 1:2 (21:19, 19:21, 10:15).
After the 21-year-old Müller and the almost ten-year-old Tillmann had to give up the first set 19:21, the newly formed duo got better and better. With 21:16 and 15:11 they won the next two rounds at temperatures around 35 degrees. “You try to survive that and cool down quickly,” said Svenja Müller about the heat. “But it’s a good thing that you can’t think about everything, but only what is absolutely necessary.”
By making it into the last eight, the two have already secured fifth place. But the team, which is playing its first full season this year, wants more. “We want to give our best performance that is possible in every game. And we’re happy that it’s going on now,” said Cinja Tillmann.
In the fight for a place in the semi-finals, she will face Olympic silver medalists Taliqua Clancy/Mariafe Artacho del Solar on Friday. The Australians defeated Sandra Ittlinger/Isabel Schneider, who also train in Hamburg, 2-0 in the round of 32 on Wednesday.
Müller/Tillmann’s strong performance so far comes as no surprise. In May they won the Elite 16 tournament in Ostrava, the highest category in the new Beach Pro Tour.
Svenja Müller/Cinja Tillmann and Karla Borger/Julia Sude were the only German teams in the round of 16. In addition to Sandra Ittlinger/Isabel Schneider, the German champions Chantal Laboureur/Sarah Schulz from Stuttgart also got stuck in the round of 32 on Wednesday. The only men’s team, Nils Ehlers/Clemens Wickler from Hamburg, also lost early in the first knockout round.