Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 30, 2015 – “This feels like we won the World Championship”, Michelle Stiekema said after she and her partner Daniëlle Remmers won their final pool match 2-0 (21-18, 21-14) against Argentina’s Anna Gallay and Georgina Klug.
Remmers (25) and Stiekema (25) are no regulars on the World Tour anymore, and earned a wild card for the World Championships only one week before the start. They lost their first two pool matches in straight sets and with only one win it will be touch and go for the next round, since only the best eight numbers three advance.
“It doesn’t matter right now”, Stiekema said. “This feels so great. This match was so unbelievable. We started a little bit nervous, and we were behind like 8-2. But we told each other ‘This is not going to happen, we want to win, so we just fight’. And we did and we won and it’s just great.”
Remmers and Stiekema loved the atmosphere in the Rotterdam stadium, which had been taken over by hundreds of screaming school kids.
“The kids were so great, we have never heard so much screaming and yelling. It was so awesome”, Stiekema said. Remmers had a special thank you for the young fans: “You were great, without you we couldn’t have won. Thank you very much!”
Poland tops the pool with three straight wins
Poland’s Monika Brzostek and Kinga Kolosinska topped their pool on Tuesday with three straight wins. A perfect starting point to at least equal their 9th place finish at the World Championships two years ago in their home country.
“It would be nice to repeat that”, Brzostek said. “But we know that will be hard. We don’t know the result of the drawing of lot yet. So let’s hope we have a good drawing, we will keep our fingers crossed.”
After two straight wins over Canada’s Broder/Valjas and Morocco’s Ikram/Mahassine the 25-year old Polish had to face the also undefeated Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova on Tuesday for the pool win. Their record against the Czechs was 3-5 so far.
Brzostek and Kolosinksa started shaky in the opening match in Rotterdam, trailing two or three points, but found their rhythm towards the middle of the first set to win 2-0 (21-18, 21-17).
Brzostek: “We were pretty nervous, I think, but the same could be said for the Czech team. The first ten points we were pretty shaky, but then it was ok and we played really well.”
The Polish duo kept putting service pressure on Slukova. “Good serving, especially from Kinga, got us back into the game”, Brzostek said. “She kept serving down the line and we knew that Marketa had trouble receiving those services.”
The 2009 junior world champions are happy that, as pool winners, they get to stay in Rotterdam. Brzostek: “We like this venue and we are familiar with this court, so that is a big advantage.”
They are hoping for some more Polish fans coming in to support them. “In 2013 in Poland we had this huge support from family and friends. They all came to see us, that was really a big help for us.”