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Moscow Grand Slam | Men
  7/06/2012 - 12/06/2012

Brazil and Germany rule in Moscow

Jonathan Erdmann (left) and Kay Matysik advanced directly into second round
Moscow, Russia, June 10, 2012 – Brazil and Germany ruled the second day of men’s main draw in Moscow. Four Brazilian teams and four German teams reached the second round of the FIVB SWATCH World Tour Moscow Grand Slam on Sunday. With ten other teams they will compete for the final four spots in two single elimination rounds on Monday.

Brazil’s Ricardo Santos/Pedro Cunha, Alison Cerutti/Emanuel Rego, Benjamin Insfran/Bruno Schmidt and Germans Julius Brink/Jonas Reckermann and Jonathan Erdmann/Kay Matysik ended on top in their pool and advanced directly to the second round. Marcio Araujo/Pedro Solberg and Sebastian Dollinger/Stefan Windscheif and David Klemperer and Eric Koreng got in through the first round.

Erdmann and Matysik, whose career best finish is 4th place in Stare Jablonski last year, surprised everyone by finishing first in pool N without even losing a set. The 12th seeded Germans edged 5th seeded Polish Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel in their final pool match.

After a sluggish start in the pouring rain on centre court the Polish team came back in the second set, even leading 12-11. But some good blocking by Erdmann got the Germans ahead again, finishing the match at 21-14 21-17. It was the first time in six encounters Germany beat the Polish team.

‘’This win is double important’’, Matysik said. ‘’It broke the series against them and we go directly to second round. And this is very important for our olympic qualification.’’ With only Moscow and Rome to go the German team is currently ranked 9th on the olympic qualification list, second behind Brink/Reckermann and 1000 points ahead of compatriots Klemperer/Koreng. The German national federation has ruled that the best two teams in the qualifying top 16 on the ranking will go to London.

German beards

Out of superstition Erdmann and Matysik have not been shaving since they started their olympic campaign, but it is about time to get rid of these beards they say. Matysik: ‘’We have the same mental coach as the ice hockey team in Berlin. Like them we made a deal not to shave our beards until we would reach our goal. For them it worked, they won the national championships, so I hope next week we can get rid of this hair too.’’

Also without set loss are Ricardo and Cunha. The third seeded Brazilians, who won titles in Myslowice and Prague this year, downed Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira 21-15 21-19 in the early morning. Their compatriots and last year’s winners Alison and Emanuel eased by Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo (21-18 21-15) in just 34 minutes.

Because of the rained down sand the match turned into a real power game, easily won by Alison. ‘’Every day is different here’’, Emanuel said. ‘’Like yesterday in our first game it was only 11 degrees and in the afternoon it was hot and windy. But this is beach volleyball. And I am happy we improve every game.’’

Step by step

The 39-year-old world champion and 2004 olympic champion does not think about back-to-back titles in Moscow yet. ‘’We take it step by step. This season is totally different, all teams are preparing for the Olympics and try out different tactics.’’

Also still in competition are top seeded Dutch Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil who edged off Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu (16-21 27-25 15-12) in a direct battle for top position in pool J. Later on the Chinese were eliminated in the first knock-out round by Fijalek and Prudel (21-16 21-11).

Only one Russian team made it to the last eighteen. Yury Bogatov and Serguei Prokopiev lost their final pool match against Swiss Patrick Heuscher and Jefferson Bellaguarda (21-12 17-21 15-9), but won their first round match against Polish Mychal Kadziola and Jakub Szalankiewicz (21-18 21-13). Last year’s silver medallists Heuscher and Bellaguarda were eliminated in the first round by Brazil’s Marcio Araujo and Pedro.

The men’s competition of the fifth consecutive Moscow Grand Slam continues on Monday with two elimination rounds, leading to the final four. First match on centre court (9.30) is Alison/Emanuel against Marcio Araujo/Pedro, tied 1-1 in previous matches. The semifinals and medal matches are scheduled for Tuesday, when a large crowd of beach volleyball fans is expected at the venue at the Victory Park because it is a national holiday.   
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12/06/2012 Alison and Emanuel win back-to-back titles in Moscow
12/06/2012 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour Season Update
11/06/2012 Top four seeded teams in Moscow reach semifinals
10/06/2012 Brazil and Germany rule in Moscow
9/06/2012 Perfect record for Brazil, China, Russia and Germany on first day in Moscow
8/06/2012 Switzerland advances two teams to men's main draw in Moscow
7/06/2012 Thiago and Ferramenta earn qualification ticket in Moscow
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