Beach Volleyball World Cup: Müller/Tillmann’s dream of gold ends in the semi-finals

DMissed the sensation, but not yet lost hope for bronze: Svenja Müller and Cinja Tillmann gambled away their chance of reaching the final at the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rome. The Hamburg team lost in the semi-finals on Saturday to the favored Canadians Sophie Bukovec and Brandie Wilkerson 1:2 (15:21, 21:15, 12:15). It was the Germans’ first defeat in the seventh game at the World Cup.

“We were both a little excited. Maybe a little more than the opponents,” said Cinja Tillmann. “Perhaps the experience of Brandie, who has already been to the Olympics twice, plays a role.” Shortly after the game, she described her feelings as “neutral”. “I can just acknowledge that the two of them were just better today. I’m looking forward to the next game against them both.”

The 30-year-old and the 21-year-old Svenja Müller now have their second chance at a medal in the game for third place on Sunday (4:00 p.m.): Then the newly formed team meets the Olympic bronze medalists Joana Heidrich/Anouk Vergé-Dépré. The Swiss lost their semi-final against the Brazilians Duda and Ana Patricia 0:2 (19:21, 13:21).

Eight serve errors

Müller and Tillmann could do better against the two Canadians. But in the first set, they lost valuable points with eight service errors. “It was a nervous start,” analyzed DVV sports director Niclas Hildebrand. In the second round, the two showed their class and put more pressure on their opponents with their variable shots. “But they were never really able to play freely,” said Hildebrand.

In the deciding set, Müller/Tillmann quickly fell 1:5 behind. “You started in a way you shouldn’t start a tie-break,” said the DVV Beach boss. Although they were able to shorten again and again, they were no longer able to equalize.

Still, the development of the team is amazing. They got together last year, but only this year will they play through their first season together. A first success was the victory in Ostrava in May at the Elite 16 tournament, the highest category in the Beach Pro Tour.

At the World Championships in Rome, Müller/Tillmann finally became the current flagship couple of the German Volleyball Association (DVV). As the only duo of the five German teams, they first reached the quarter-finals and then the semi-finals. And the dream of a medal is not over yet.

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