RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Brazilian duo Barbara Seixas and Agatha Bednarczuk dished out a first ever Olympic loss to American great Kerri Walsh Jennings amid a fevered atmosphere on Copacabana beach to reach the final of the women's beach volleyball.
The Brazilians won the semi-final 22-20 21-18 after midnight on Wednesday with key saves from Seixas and big blocks by Bednarczuk too much for April Ross and 38-year-old Walsh Jennings, who was aiming for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the event.
"It still hasn't sunk in what we've done, beating a player who has never lost at the Olympics," said Bednarczuk, who won the world championships last year with Seixas.
"Since the start of these Games we've been able to grow in each match, improving our concentration, our accuracy, and I think that made the difference."
RELATED: Walsh Jennings through the years
Kerri Walsh Jennings through the years
Kerri Walsh Jennings through the years
USA's Kerri Walsh Jennings controls the ball during the women's beach volleyball semi-final match between USA and Brazil at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016, as part of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP / Yasuyoshi Chiba (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
USA's Kerri Walsh Jennings reacts during the women's beach volleyball qualifying match between the USA and Switzerland at the Beach Volley Arena in Rio de Janeiro on August 10, 2016, for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP / Yasuyoshi Chiba (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 28: Olympian/professional beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings attends the world premiere of 'Kerri Walsh Jennings: Gold Within' at The Paley Center for Media on July 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 21: Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross USA celebrates after defending Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo of Spain during day 5 of the 2016 AVP Cincinnati Open on May 21, 2016 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: Volleyball Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings poses for a photo during a KT Tape Press Event at Chelsea Piers on March 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for KT Tape)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: Beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings poses for a portrait at the USOC Rio Olympics Shoot at Quixote Studios on November 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP - 'Tami Roman/Kerri Walsh-Jennings' - Reality TV Star Tami Roman ('Basketball Wives,' 'The Real World') and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings are featured on 'Celebrity Wife Swap,' WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10 (10:00--11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Kerri Walsh-Jennings is a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist who lives in Los Angeles, CA with her fellow pro-volleyball player husband Casey Thomas Jennings and their three children: Joey (6), Sundance (5) and Scout Marjory (2). The family follows a strict routine and schedule when it comes to the kids. They also follow a healthy diet and work-out regularly. With Kerri training for the 2016 Olympic team, Casey handles more of the day-to-day needs of the home and kids. (Photo by Rick Rowell/ABC via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings attends the American Diabetes Association Los Angeles' Step Out Walk at Griffith Park on November 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lilly Lawrence/WireImage)
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Kerri Walsh-Jennings (R) celebrates after scoring a point against Keao Burdine (L) at the AVP Championships at Huntington Beach on September 19, 2014 in Huntington Beach, California. (Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 7: Kerri Walsh-Jennings dives for the ball at the AVP Atlantic City Invitational on September 7, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images)
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA - MAY 08: Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings axccepts the Icon award at the 2014 PTTOW! Summit at Terrenea Resort on May 8, 2014 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for PTTOW!)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: Pro volleyball player Kerry Walsh Jennings attends the NBC/Universal's 71st Annual Golden Globes After Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
HONOLULU - NOVEMBER 17: United States Kerri Walsh Jennings (R) celebrates with teammate April Ross against China during the Hilton HHonors Beach Volleyball Challenge, November 17, 2013 in Honolulu. (Photo by Marco Garcia/Getty Images for Hilton HHonors)
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA - AUGUST 25: Kerri Walsh Jennings holds up her daughter Scout after winning the women's finals at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open on August 25, 2013 in Manhattan Beach, California. Jennings and her partner Whitney Pavlik defeated Brooke Sweat and Jennifer Fopma 22-20, 21-17. (Photo by Holly Stein/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: (R-L) Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings and actor Tate Donovan award Jack Hoffman with the Best Moment ESPY onstage at The 2013 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for ESPY)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 09: Volleyball player Kerri Walsh-Jennings attends the 13th annual Harold & Carole Pump Foundation gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 9, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 16: Professional volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings arrives at ESPN the Magazine's 'Body Issue' 5th annual ESPY's event at Lure on July 16, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/WireImage)
MANHATTAN BEACH, CA - JUNE 25: Three-time gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings gets first glimpse of World Series Cup, where she represents the US against the World at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball on June 25, 2013 in Manhattan Beach, California (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for WSOBV)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Kerri Lee Walsh Jennings attends the 'Gold Meets Golden' event hosted at Equinox on January 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA - OCTOBER 22: Three time Olympic gold medalists, professional volleyball players Misty May-Treanor (L) and Kerri Walsh Jennings pose before a friendly match with winners of AT&TÃs 'My Journey' sweepstakes on October 22, 2012 in Huntington Beach, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
Left to right: Silver medalists April Ross and Jennifer Kessy of USA, gold medalists Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, bronze medalists Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva of Brazil during the Women's Beach Volleyball gold medal match between USA and USA at Horse Guards Parade as part of the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games in London, UK on August 9th 2012. Photo: Visionhaus/Ben Radford (Photo by Ben Radford/Corbis via Getty Images)
Kerri Walsh Jennings of USA and Misty May-Treanor of USA encourage each other during the Women's Beach Volleyball gold medal match between USA and USA at Horse Guards Parade as part of the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games in London, UK on August 9th 2012. Photo: Visionhaus/Ben Radford (Photo by Ben Radford/Corbis via Getty Images)
Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States lept in the air after winning a point with her teammate Misty May-Treanor during their gold medal performance in women's beach volleyball at Horse Guard Parade during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, Wednesday, August 8, 2012. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Californian Walsh Jennings, nicknamed 'Six Feet of Sunshine', is a three-times world champion who was attempting to emulate long jumper Carl Lewis and discus thrower Al Oerter as the only American athletes to have won four consecutive Olympic golds in the same individual event.
But it was not meant to be as she struggled to control passes and took responsibility for the defeat, her first in 27 Olympic matches.
"It was very poor execution on my part, at the most fundamental part of the game," she said. "I put us in a hole from the start. We never gave up, but we never got our space."
The packed stands on Copacabana beach roared after every Brazilian point, the crowd backing the last local shot at gold after Germany eliminated Brazil's other team, Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes, in the other semi.
European champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst eased home 21-18 21-12 against the Brazilians 21-18 21-12 to become Germany's first women's team to medal in the event.
With the fans slow to fill the stadium for Tuesday's first match, the Germans seized on an unusually tranquil atmosphere to steal the opening set and walk away with the second before the Brazilian duo could hit their rhythm.
"It was really important winning the first set and we knew we had to have patience," said Ludwig. "I think I was the most nervous for this match because we were in the semi and in front of this crowd."
The final will take place later on Wednesday after the Americans play Franca and Antunes for bronze.