2016-11-18 09:22:00 CEST

Guess who’s back on the beach?!

Brazilian star makes first return after becoming a mom

Maria Clara Salgado is back! Photocredit: Andreas Langreiter.Maria Clara Salgado is back! Photocredit: Andreas Langreiter.

Maria Clara Salgado is back on the sand!

The 33-year old Brazilian returned to action after being sidelined for over 10 months for a very special reason: she gave birth to Joaquim, her first son with American beach volleyball player Jeremy Casebeer. Salgado is competing in the Curitiba tournament of the Brazilian Tour this week with new partner Rachel Nunes.

The new mother followed a tradition among the Salgado clan and took the three-month Joaquim to Curitiba, repeating a routine that her mother, the legendary Isabel Salgado, had with her and her brothers and what her sister, Carolina, has with her sons Jose and Salvador.

“My mother was a player and I was raised this way,” Salgado told us. “I loved to travel with my mother and my brothers. I am sure Joaquim will enjoy it too. He will be in touch with different cultures very early and will learn a lot from that alongside his cousin Salvador, who is just a month older than him. He is my lucky charm, I am very glad to have him here.”

Partiu Curitiba, nossa primeira etapa do circuito brasileiro ✈️👶🏻💙🏐 Off to our first tournament 🤘🏼 @shakesbeer_ #cbbvp

See this Instagram photo by @mariaclarasalgado * 263 likes

The tournament means a restart for the Swatch FIVB World Tour veteran as she will be competing with a different partner for the first time in years, after splitting a 12-year partnership with Carolina.

“I am very excited to be in the court again,” Maria said. “I know it is going to be a difficult return, mas working with what I love and having new challenges is really special. I am starting this new team with Rachel and I am very excited about it.”

The separation between Maria Clara and Carolina also ended the stint of their mother, Isabel, as their coach.

“She would not be comfortable to be helping one of her daughters against the other. This way, she is free to support both of us,” she explained.

Maria Clara and Rachel had a rough start in Curitiba as the tandem was defeated by Juliana Felisberta and Taiana Lima in straight sets (21-13, 21-16) on Thursday but bounced back to stay in the competition with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sandressa Lorandi and Victoria Tosta.

The question is will we see this new duo at the Fort Lauderdale Major in February?! 

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