Germany beach volleyball pairing Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst are going to the Olympic final after stunning their hosts in straight sets on Tuesday in Rio.
WATCH: Full match replay
Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes of Brazil seemed out-of-sync all afternoon, 21-18, 21-12. The top-ranked pairing in the world will now need to win the bronze medal match to earn medals.
Ludwig and Walkenhorst have been strong all tournament, and will provide a massive challenge for either Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross of the USA or Brazil’s second duo of Barbara and Agatha.
Brooke Sweat and Lauren Fendrick couldn’t achieve the improbable, and that’s amplified their problems in Rio.
Larissa Franco and Talita Antunes showed why they’re the No. 1 seed in the tournament, as the Brazilian duo bashed Team USA’s No. 2 pairing 21-16, 21-13.
MORE: – Full match replay
The loss drops Fendrick and Sweat to 0-2, and means they’ll need a win against Russia’s Ekaterina Birlova and Evgenia Ukolova on Thursday just to finish third in their group.
The old saying goes, “To be the best, you have the beat the best”.
In the case of Team USA’s Brooke Sweat and Lauren Fendrick, it might be more dire than that.
WATCH LIVE: – USA vs. Brazil – 3:30 p.m. EDT
USA’s second pairing lost its first match in women’s beach volleyball’s Pool A and now needs to find a way past World No. 1 duo Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes if it wants to head into its finale in decent shape.
After Tuesday’s match, Fendrick and Sweat will face Ekaterina Birlova and Evgenia Ukolova on Thursday.