|BERLIN, GERMANY, June 25, 2004 - After winning their match here Friday afternoon in the US$600,000 Smart Grand Slam over a team from Australia, third-seeded Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany received another win without even playing.
While the Germans were defeating 11th-seeded Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack of Australia 21-17, 20-22 and 15-8, second-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland scored a 21-19 and 26-24 win over 26th-seeded Francisco Alvarez and Juan Rosell of Cuba.
As Dieckmann and Reckermann left the center court thinking about their rematch with the Swiss duo Saturday afternoon, they learned that Kobel was withdrawing from the the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event due to a leg injury. "We are disappointed about withdrawing, but we have to prepare for future tournaments and the Olympics," said Heuscher. "Now is not the time for Stefan to risk further injury."
With the advancement, Dieckman and Reckerman will have Saturday off to watch the action, including the final match in the winner's bracket featuring teams from Brazil. Top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos play fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo with the winner joining the Germans in Sunday's semi-finals.
Eight other Beach Volleyball teams remain in the competiton, including four winners from Friday's final elimination matches. Those teams, including the Australians and the Cubans, will face the losers from the third-round of the winner's bracket first thing Saturday morning.
Other suffering their first defeat Friday in the Smart Grand Slam was eighth-seeded Sascha Heyer/Markus Egger of Switzerland and 28th-seeded Stephane Canet/Mathieu Hamel of France. Heyer and Egger dropped a 23-21 and 23-21 decision to Emanuel and Ricardo while the French were defeated 21-15 and 21-13 by Benjamin and Marcio Araujo.
Also advancing Friday in the elimination bracket were ninth-seeded Andreas Scheuerpflug/Christoph Dieckmann of Germany, the fifth-seeded Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul) of Switzerland, 14th-seeded Mariano Barcetti/Martin Conde of Argentina and seventh-seeded Franco Neto/Tande Ramos of Brazil.
The second of five-straight mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the Smart Grand Slam concludes Sunday with the men's semi-finals and medal match. The gold medal team will share the $43,000 first-place prize.