Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes’ beach volleyball world championship title defence is over.
The 2019 victors fell in straight sets to Brazil’s Eduarda Santos Lisboa and Ana Patricia Silva Ramos in the quarter-finals on Friday in Rome.
Pavan and Humana-Paredes, now ranked 15th in the world, stormed through pool play without dropping a single set. They wobbled a bit in the first two knockout rounds yet managed to stay steady, recovering from first-set losses both times.
But the magic ran out.
Despite a hefty 6-2 advantage in points off serve, Pavan, the 25-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., and Humana-Paredes, the 29-year-old from Toronto, were outscored handily 30-19 on attacks and 4-0 on blocks.
Pavan and Humana-Paredes reached Rome with momentum after winning the Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Latvia earlier this month for their first tournament victory since 2019. In between, they entered the Tokyo Olympics as a pre-tournament favourite but also exited in the quarter-finals.
Fellow Canadians Brandie Wilkerson and Sophie Bukovec, ranked 40th after only partnering in March, play their own quarter-final match on Friday at 2 p.m. ET against 60th-ranked Italian duo Valentina Gottardi and Marta Menegatti.
Matches can be streamed live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. The bronze- and gold-medal finals are scheduled for Sunday.