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Live with Karla Borger and Julia Sude
On meeting for the first time and realising their childhood dream
Karla and Julia met when they were kids, watching their parents play in the German Championship. A couple of years later, they crossed paths again and are now on the same side of the court as the top team in the country.
Julia on the first time she met Karla:
“We met a long time ago. The funny part is that our parents were both active players then, so we had nothing to do but watch our parents’ games. After they finished their games, we would go to the free courts and start playing together.
“We dreamt of playing the German Championship when we were young. It’s funny that the circle is connected again, and we found each other, not as opponents but as partners.”
Defining their partnership, handling pressure and never giving up
Since teaming up last year, they have been in four quarterfinal appearances, including a bronze medal finish at Kuala Lumpur and a gold medal win at Qinzhou 3-star events.
Julia on the three words that define their partnership:
“Flexible, competitive and experienced.”
Karla on what makes the team special:
“Our experience makes us special. We are a very experienced team.”
Karla on handling pressure in a tough match:
“It depends on what’s happening on the court. I have some rituals that I do, like taking sand in my hand, the (different) way I walk and talk, the way I behave on the court. I have specific ways to feel comfortable in such (tough) situations.”
Julia on the best ever advice she got:
“You should never give up if you want to achieve your goals. There are sacrifices to make. It’s not always a straight line from A to B to achieve your goals. Sometimes the journey is like up the big mountain and down the valley, so you have to continue focusing and enjoying the road to your goal. When you do it that way, it’s easier to arrive to point B.”
Karla Borger on Julia Sude’s never-give-up attitude:
“I remember our last tournament in China, which we actually won, she twisted her ankle in the semis. I wasn’t sure if she could continue playing and no one really knew she was injured. She had trouble jumping and she was in a lot of pain warming up. I was already thinking that we were not going to play the final. We just tried to serve well and whenever she felt bad, we would just have to step out of the final. But the first balls she got in reception were amazing. I was like she’s injured but it’s working! I think that was one moment I thought she was on fire.”
Tips on becoming a good defender and blocker
Karla is one of the toughest defenders, while Julia may not be as tall as the other blockers but she has very good technique as a blocker.
Karla on being a good defender:
“Don’t let the ball fall on your side of the court. If you do not let this happen then you will be fine. You have to run, dive and enjoy the moment of not letting the ball down. It sounds simple but it’s hard to do, but if you go back to where you need to focus on, like knowing what was the ball before and what’s coming next, the possibilities of the shots, you will be able to get to the ball. You just have to try to read the mind of your opponent.”
Julia on being a good blocker:
“You need to be prepared against your opponent and maybe taller than your defender. My height is below the average blocker but I have to balance everything with my experience, by looking at the opponent intently to get a little bit in front. You have to have good tactics and you have to read the attack well.”
The $20 million question and Karla’s musical talent
Julia really loves the sport and would give back to the sport if she was given $20 million. Karla, on the other hand, recently revived her love for music.
Julia on how she would spend $20 million:
“I will share it with all the people I know. I will donate it to sports, give it to the federation so that they could support the kids to get into the sport.”
Karla on playing the saxophone:
“I started playing when I was in sixth grade. I had saxophone lessons then but didn’t find time to continue when I started playing beach volleyball professionally. Also when I travel, I couldn’t bring the instrument with me.
“During the lockdown, I had time to play it and I tried to learn through online lessons. I practice for an hour. It’s cool to be able to do it now because normally I work on a lot of stuff when I play beach volleyball. It’s great to have music to have something else in mind."
Follow Karla: instagram.com/karlaborger
Follow Julia: instagram.com/juliasudeofficial
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