|BERLIN, GERMANY, June 24, 2004 - Teams from Australia, Canada, Greece and Norway won final elimination matches here Thursday with 12 women's team remaining in the Beach Volleyball competition entering the next day of the US$600,000 Smart Grand Slam.
With teams from Brazil, Cuba, Germany and the United States unbeaten after three rounds of action in the winner's bracket, the four tandems that won the final elimination matches Thursday will play teams from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland in the fourth-round of the contender's bracket.
In Friday's matches of the undefeated, ninth-seeded Suzanne Lahme and Danja Müsch of Germany play 12th-seeded Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Tamara Larrea Peraza of Cuba before third-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs of the United States meets second-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil.
Opening elimination matches Friday morning has Summer Lochowicz and Kerri Pottharst of Australia facing 20th-seeded Marrit Leenstra and Rebekka Kadijk of the Netherlands, 17th-seeded Andrea Ahmann and Jana Vollmer of Germany challenging Guylaine Durmont and Annie Martin of Canada, seventh-seeded Nicole Schnyder-Benoit and Simone Kuhn of Switzerland playing Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide of Norway, and Efthalia Koutroumanidou and Vassiliki Arvanit of Greece meeting 27th-seeded Daniela Gattelli and Lucilla Perrotta of Italy.
The 10th-seeded Lochowicz and Pottharst eliminated 15th-seeded Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason of the United States in the first of four final elimination matches Thursday followed by the 14th-seeded Dumont and Martin's win over 21st-seeded Angela Clarke and Kylie Gerlic of Australia.
The final two matches had the 29th-seeded Glesnes and Maaseide downing fifth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan and the 23rd-seeded Koutroumanidou and Arvaniti eliminating 31st-seeded Laura Bruschini and Annamarie Solazzi of Italy.
With Davis and Johnson Jordan's exit, only two of the top six-seeded teams remain in the competition. Due to injury, top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh forfeited two matches after winning their first contest against a German team. May's abdominal strain forced her from the action.
Due to a calf injury, Sandra Pires had to withdraw from the competition with partner Ana Paula Connelly before playing a match. The fourth-seeded Brazilians were the defending Smart Grand Slam champion as they defeated Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs for the 2003 title.
Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson dropped both of their matches in the competition to teams from Italy and the Czech Republic. The sixth-seeded Aussies played despite Cook's right shoulder problems. Cook won the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal with Pottharst.