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Berlin Grand Slam ends for home team Holtwick/Semmler

Top seeded Katrin Holtwick (left) and Ilka Semmler are out after two upsets
Berlin, Germany, June 18, 2014 – After only one day, the FIVB World Tour Berlin smart Grand Slam has already ended for top seeded home team Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler.

The German pair lost twice on the first day of main draw on Wednesday and due to the other results in the pool, has no chance to reach the knockout phase anymore. For the second week in a row Holtwick and Semmler will finish last in their pool.

After a very disappointing 2-1 (21-18, 16-21, 15-10) loss to 32nd seeded team Daniela Gioria and Laura Giombini in their morning match, last year’s silver medallists seemed to have recovered. They won the first set against Swiss team Nadine Zumkehr and Joana Heidrich 21-17.

Trailing in the second

But already in the beginning of the second set the Germans were trailing by 5 points (11-6) and they could not close that gap, losing 21-15. In the tiebreak it was point-by-point till 6-6, then the Swiss took the lead again.

Three blocks in a row by Heidrich got the Swiss to 13-8. Germany came back to 13-10, but a net serve by Holtwick caused the first match point for the Swiss. On their second Zumkehr scored the winning point with a cross court smash: 15-11.

Last week Holtwick and Semmler also finished at a disappointing 25th place in Moscow, losing all three pool matches, including one to Gioria/Giombini.

“We played better than in Moscow”, said a frustrated Holtwick. “But it was not enough. Too many mistakes, I don’t know. Really bad, really frustrating. We knew it would be a hard week after Moscow, but it was the same mess.”

“I don’t understand”, said Semmler. “We won the first set easily and in the second we are so many points behind. We have let the Swiss girls take the lead and could not come back anymore. That should not happen.”

Mental thing

“I think, at the moment we have a mental problem. When we are trailing by three or four points we are not able to find our way back into the match”, Semmler continued.

There was also pressure, said Holtwick. “We really wanted to be better than last week. We were happy to play here, with our friends and family. But it did not help. We will try to make it better in Stavanger.”

Now leading om pool A after the first two rounds of pool play are China’s Wang Fan/Yue with two wins. Zumkehr/Heidrich and Gioria/Giombina both have one win.

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