Nils Ehlers & Lars Flueggen after qualifying for the main draw in Moscow
Moscow, Russia, August 14, 2019 – On the very same day Germany’s Nils Ehlers & Lars Flueggen qualified for the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour event in Moscow, the pair also received confirmation of their main draw berths at the World Tour Finals in Rome next month.
Lars Flueggen in action during the Moscow qualifications on Wednesday
Furthermore, it was here in Moscow, one year ago, that Lars and Nils played their first international event together. The anniversary was another reason for them to think back, assess their results and cast a positive angle on what they hope to be a bright future for their team.
“Last year my partner Marcus Bockermann decided to retire. When we both broke our fingers, he said ‘I’m done now!’ and went on to work as an engineer. Then I asked Nils if he wanted to play with me and luckily I received a positive answer,” Lars Flueggen told fivb.com. “Yes, it’s been one year now, but we had a lot of problems in the winter, because of Nils’ surgery. We did not have good preparation and played pretty badly at the beginning of this season. We lost a lot of games in qualifications, but in the last four weeks things have started turning in a positive way. I think right now we are where we wanted to be last year when we played at Moscow."
Last year in Moscow, the Germans were seeded directly into the main draw, but conceded two defeats and finished 25th, only to re-appear on the World Tour several months later, at the Sydney event in March. Since then, they rarely managed to make it past the qualifications, but finished 17th at the World Championship in Hamburg, qualified for the main draws at both the Gstaad and the Vienna five-star events, even reaching the quarterfinals in the Austrian capital, and sensationally qualified for the final of the Tokyo four-star to claim silver, their first World Tour medal together.
“Yes, we had some good results in the last three weeks and we hope to stay on this successful path, so we can reach the semis again, here in Moscow. That’s the plan. It would be nice, but let’s see…,” Nils Ehlers said with a smile, after he and Lars hammered out a speedy 28-minute 2-0 (21-14, 21-14) victory over Ukraine’s Maksym Gladun & Evgen Zhuravel in what was the shortest qualification match in the Russian capital on Wednesday.
Before focusing on their final preparation for the World Tour Finals in Rome, 29-year-old Rio Olympian Flueggen and 25-year-old Ehlers also have the German Championship to worry about.
“After Moscow, we have the German Championship, where we hope to perform well,” Nils said. “It’s always fun to play there, because the whole beach volleyball community in Germany comes together. We hope to be in the final against Thole & Wickler, but we’ll see... Then we are going to the World Tour Finals in Rome…”
“Rome will be our first time together directly in the main draw of a four- or five-star event. That’s pretty cool!” exclaimed Lars. “And it’s the first World Tour Finals for both of us and we are really excited. This is also another good chance to earn some points for the Olympic ranking. We didn’t expect it three weeks ago, so right now we’re feeling really happy about it.”
The World Tour Finals are scheduled to take place at the Foro Italico in Rome from September 4 through 8.
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