Mar del Plata, Argentina, January 24, 2004 - The two favourites for the Argentine Satellite event in Mar del Plata, local team Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde and the Switzerland pair of Paul and Martin Laciga, both booked their spots in Sunday's semifinals after two well worked victories in Round 3 and 4 on Saturday.
After being pushed to three sets in their opening match on Friday, Baracetti and Conde recorded two two-set victories, 21-11, 21-9 over their compatriots Wenceslao Frascaroli and Hernan Rojas and a courageous 26-24, 21-15 over the tough Italian duo of Fabio Galli and Riccardo Fenili in front of a passionate local crowd. Against the Italians a tight first set was followed by an easier second and it took the 2001 world champions 49 minutes to seal their semifinal spot.
"We want to win the tournament to get motivated and to get in shape for the Olympic Games," said Mariano Baracetti after the match.
Meanwhile the Swiss brothers Paul and Martin Laciga (third in the FIVB world rankings) also made it three wins from three after beating the Brazilian duo of Fabio Araujo and Rodrigo Monteiro in a fantastic three-set match 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 15-8) and the local pair of Sebastian Menegozzo and Adrian Bialy 2-0 (21-16, 21-14).
In the semifinals Baracetti and Conde will play Menegozzo and Bialy while the Lacigas face a repeat against Araujo and Rodrigo after the promising Brazilians beat the Italians Galli and Fenili 2-1 (21-18, 16-21, 16-14).