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Moscow Grand Slam | Men
  12/07/2011 - 17/07/2011

Twelve teams unbeaten in men’s Moscow Grand Slam

Russian player Serguei Prokopiev got injured. Friday morning Prokopiev and his partner Yury Bogatov will decide if they continue in the tournament.
Moscow, Russia, July 14, 2011 – Twelve teams remained unbeaten in the men’s main draw of the 2011 FIVB Swatch Moscow Grand Slam. The four competing Russian teams were not so fortunate on the centre court in the Poklonnaya Gora, despite the large number of home spectators cheering them on. None of the home duo’s remained unbeaten and Serguei Prokopiev even got injured. But Konstantin Semonov and Yaroslav Koshkarev still have a good chance since they did won one of two matches on the first day of main draw pool play in the Russian capital.

Ninth seeded Semenov/Koshkarev lost 2-1 (18-21 21-18 15-11) to Americans Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena, but in the afternoon defeated Anders Hoyer and Bo Soderberg from Denmark by 2-0. Friday they will meet European champions Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil in the third and final pool match. It will be their first head-to-head match.

Alexander Likholetov and Alexey Pastukhov, seeded tenth, lost to Martin Laciga/Jonas Weingart from Switzerland in two sets (21-15 21-16). Their next match against Georgian ‘Brazilians’ Geor and Gia was very entertaining for the almost 2000 spectators with lots of rally’s. On a hot and festive centre court the Russians even took the first set (23-21), but eventually lost 2-1. Russian qualifiers Dmitri Barsouk/Alexey Yutvalin lost to American top team Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers (21-17 21-15) and Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins (19-21 21-14 15-13).

Serguei Prokopiev and Yury Bogatov were defeated by world champions Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego (21-13 21-17) and had to abandon their second match only after three points due to an injury of Prokopiev. He will decide Friday morning if he can play on. Prokopiev: “My back was aching in the morning session, but we managed to finish the game against Alison/Emanuel. I started the warm up with a bad feeling and after three rallies I had to withdraw. It is a real pity because we love to play at home with the fantastic support from the crowd. I don't know if the situation will change tomorrow. I just hope that our physio will work a miracle.”?

In pool J World Tour leaders Alison/Emanuel and Swiss Sebastian Chevallier/Sascha Heyer will decide on Friday in a direct match who ends up as pool winner. In pool K there is a similar situation with Petr Benes/Premysl Kubala and last year’s bronze medallists Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann from Germany. Pool O also has two current leaders, as Germany’s Eric Koreng/David Klemperer and Brazil’s Bruno Oscar Schmidt/Benjamin Insfran did not lose any of their matches. Olympic champions Dalhausser/Rogers eased by Barsouk/Yutvalin, but had to stay focussed against the Ingrosso-twins Matteo and Paolo from Italy (21-19 24-22). Third seeded Marcio Araujo/Ricardo Santos, who are playing their last tournament together, also remained unbeaten.

Defending champions Penggen Wu/Linyin Xu won both pool matches but lost a set to qualifiers Martin Laciga/Jonas Weingart (Sui). The Chinese hope for another title. “But it is going to be difficult this year”, said Xu. Everyone is playing here this year, because of the olympic qualification points and also all the strong American teams are here, last year they played the AVP instead of Moscow. Also we are not playing so well this season, we need more confidence and emotion in our play. We have lost some passion.”

The other teams that remained undefeated were Nummerdor/Schuil from the Netherlands, Swiss team Jefferson Bellaguarda/Patrick Heuscher and Latvia’s Martins Plavins/Janis Smedins. Fifth seeded Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel from Poland got upset by Australians Christopher McHugh and Joshua Slack in an early morning first match.

Wildcard players McHugh and Slack (seeded 28th) beat the Polish team, second in Stavanger and fourth in Gstaad, in just two sets (21-14 21-19). Fijalek/Prudel recovered winning their second match against Andy and Kevin Ces (Fra), while McHugh/Slack lost to Heuscher/Bellaguarda.

The pool play will continue on Friday with the third and last round. The numbers two and three of each pool advance to the first single elimination round on Friday. Pool winners earn a bye in the first knockout round and start in the second on Saturday. The semi-finals and medal matches are scheduled for Sunday, one day after the women’s prize matches.

The winners of the men’s $300,000 Moscow Grand Slam take home $43,500 and 800 points, the runners-up split $29,500 and 720 points and the bronze medallists win $23,000 and 640 points. In last year’s final China’s Xu/Wu beat Dalhausser/Rogers in three sets. Brink/Reckermann defeated Americans Casey Jennings/Brad Keenan in the bronze medal match.

The Russian capital is hosting a FIVB Swatch Beach Volleyball Grand Slam for the fourth year in a row. After the Moscow Grand Slam, the FIVB Swatch World Tour leaves Europe for North America for a double-gender Open in Québec, Canada from July 19-24. The following week, the tour returns to Europe for the final two double-gender Grand Slams in Stare Jablonski, Poland from July 25-31 and Klagenfurt, Austria from August 1-7.   
More press releases
17/07/2011 Brazil’s Alison and Emanuel claim their first Moscow Grand Slam title
16/07/2011 Brazil, China, Switzerland and USA in final four Moscow Grand Slam
15/07/2011 Brazil and Germany rule in men’s Moscow Grand Slam
14/07/2011 Vice-world champions Ricardo and Marcio no longer a team
14/07/2011 Twelve teams unbeaten in men’s Moscow Grand Slam
13/07/2011 Eight countries advance to main draw at Moscow Grand Slam
12/07/2011 Dollinger/Windscheif earn spot in men’s qualification tournament in Moscow
7/07/2011 Chinese teams to defend their title in Moscow
1/07/2011 Moscow ready for Grand Slam
27/01/2011 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar finalised