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Tough opening match for 2013 champions Talita/Lima in Berlin

Talita and Lima (left) won the Brazilian get-together with Antonelli and Juliana
Berlin, Germany, June 16, 2014 - Last year’s champions Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima were pushed hard in their opening match of the FIVB World Tour Berlin smart Grand Slam on Wednesday.

They eventually defeated their fellow Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Juliana Felisberta 2-0 (26-24 23-21) in an entertaining match with lots of rallies, but it could have easily gone the other way.

In the first set Antonelli and Juliana were leading three points and had four opportunities to win it, before Talita and Lima took over and finished the set at their second set point: 26-24.

The 2013 World Tour champions took a 16-11 lead in the second, but Antonelli and Juliana levelled at 18-18 to have another two opportunities to win the set. Again they did not succeed and Talita scored the winning point with a block at their second match point.

Lost focus

“We just lost focus, we made some mistakes, but we kept talking to each other and kept calm and focussed on the next ball”, said Talita.

“They are a good team, I played with Maria for four years and Juliana was the best team for seven years around, so it was hard some times”, she continued.

Talita and Lima had played the other Brazilian team once before in a FIVB tournament, at the Puerto Vallarta Open this year, where Anton Elli and Juliana actually eliminated them in the quarterfinals.

“We know that if we have to play another Brazilian team it’s always going to be hard”, said Talia. “They had set points in both sets, but we never gave up.”

Last year Talia and Lima defeated German team Holtwick/Semmler in the final. They also won the 2013 FIVB World Tour Championship, with five gold medals, one silver and one bronze. This year they have collected one medal so far, finishing at the Moscow Grand Slam last week.

Good vibe

“Berlin has a good vibe for our team”, Talita said about returning to the German capital. “We won last year. But we only look ahead as far as the next match.”

“I always want to be in the final. In every tournament. But we have to take it step-by-step, match-by-match. This was a good start and good for our confidence.”

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