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Poland’s Fijalek/Prudel take revenge against Russia

Grzegorz Fijalek (left) and Mariusz Prudel beat Moscow champions Semenov/Krasilnikov
Berlin, Germany, June 20, 2014 - Poland’s Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel booked a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) win over Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov on Friday in the first knockout round of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Berlin smart Grand Slam.

With this victory the Polish are still in the race for the podium, and they took revenge for the lost final last week against the Russians in Moscow.

Both teams looked fatigued and struggled in the pool phase in Berlin. Semenov and Krasilnikov finished second in their pool and Fijalek and Prudel third.

Trailing almost the whole first set, the Polish came back at the right moment to win it. The Russians seemed to have given up after that and did not put up much of a fight in the second set.

“After we lost last week in the final, we changed our tactics”, Fijalek said. “Also the conditions here were very different than in Moscow, with lots of wind and deeper sand.”

Walkenhorst/Windscheif still alive

The only German team that survived the pool phase, Alexander Walkenhorst and Stefan Windscheif, won their first round match 2-0 (21-18, 21-9) against Spain’s Francisco Alfredo Marco and Christian Garcia.

“This was not as easy as it might have looked”, Windscheif said. “We had a rough start into the game, we were not able to execute our coach’s tactics untill the second set.”

“But we have moved up another round”, added Walkenhorst. The Germans will play Dutch team Jon Stiekema and Christiaan Varenhorst next. “Tomorrow against the tall guys from Holland with their 2.12m and 2.02m, we will have to give more pressure and play a 100 percent side-out.”

Walkenhorst and Windscheif are a new team since this season. Windscheif played with Sebastian Dollinger for four years and Walkenhorst just changed partners a lot. Their best results so far were 5th place at the European Championship and 9th in Shanghai and Moscow.

“A top ten finish at this moment would be a good result”, said Walkenhorst. “Our future goal is still the Olympic Games in Rio.”

In the meantime Windscheif will enjoy another day at the Berlin centre court. “The feeling on the centre court was great. Beach volleyball for me is sun, sand and a lot of people who create an excellent atmosphere.”

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