Berlin, Germany, July 12, 2012 – Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grossner delighted the Berlin crowd with a win over Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan on Thursday at the smart Grand Slam, Berlin.
Victoria Bieneck (left) and Julia Grossner are in line for a place in the knockout rounds at the smart Grand Slam, Berlin
The win means that the German pair are in touching distance of the knockout rounds after their 21-15, 21-15 victory. For the Spaniards it was their second loss on the opening day of pool play and means that they need to beat first seeds Chen Xue and Zhang Xi in their final pool match to stand any chance of progressing themselves.
“It is great,” Bieneck said. “Many of our friends are here to support us and it is great to play here. We know this team as my partner played against them in a number of youth tournaments.
“We saw them playing this morning and it wasn’t their best so we hoped that we could play as well as we did this morning to win here. We were behind for a while in the second set, but were able to come back.”
In their first match Grossner and Bieneck also lost to Xue and Zhang Xi. Their final pool match is against US pair Lauren Fendricks and Brooke Hanson.
“I think we are into the knockout rounds, but even so we will try our best against the US team,” Bieneck added.
Also in with a good chance of progressing further in Berlin are Italian duo Gioria Daniele and Giulia Momoli.
The Italians recovered from an early loss to USA’s Jennifer Kessy and April Ross to defeat Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Buthe 21-18, 21-19.
“Today has gone pretty well especially the second match which we won 2-0 against a strong team,” Daniele said.
“This morning we were a little bit tired and up against a very good team, but in this second match we showed what we could do. In Germany beach volleyball has a good set-up and even though they are a young, inexperienced team those two really know how to play.”
Fourth seeds Kessy and Ross took a strong grip on the pool with two wins from two, which means Daniele and Momoli must beat Brazil’s Vivian and Lima if they want to obtain their pre-tournament aims.
“We want to have a good tournament,” Momoli said. “It is important that we came here as we want the points for the next tournaments and we want to show what we are capable of.”
Daniele and Momoli’s compatriots and fifth seeds Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari won two from two, as did first seeds Xue and Zhang Xi and second seeds Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta.
However, third seeds Maria Antonelli and Talita Antunes slipped to defeat to Switzerland’s Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre.
The smart Grand Slam Berlin is the seventh of nine mixed gender tournaments on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour and the eighth women’s tournament of the year. The women’s final is scheduled to take place on Sunday July 15 and the winning side will leave with the largest share from a purse of $300,000 per gender.
The Berlin tournament is the penultimate before the London 2012 Olympic Games in which 24 women’s and men’s teams will play for gold at London’s Horse Guard’s Parade.
The women’s calendar is set to culminate with the Bang Saen Thailand Open powered by PTT in Thailand which runs from October 23-28.