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their straight-sets win. “We played very well. It is not
easy when you are beaten in the semifinals.”
In those semifinals Bernardo Rezende’s Brazilians
beat Russia 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-21), while Serbia
beat Cuba 3-1 (18-25, 25-13, 25-21, 27-25). The
young Cuban team somewhat unexpectedly took the
first set by seven points but Serbia
bounced back to take the second
and never looked back.
Brazil, Cuba, Russia and Serbia
entered the medal matches after
the elimination of USA, who lost to
Russia and Serbia, and Argentina
who lost to Cuba and Brazil. The
six teams who played in the Final
Round were finalized after a climac-
tic end to Intercontinental Round
play.
In Pool A the United States staved
off a late surge from Italy to top the standings and
book their ticket to Belgrade. In Pool B leaders Ser-
bia had already received a bye to the Final Round as
hosts, so Argentina joined them as the second-placed
team in the Pool after 3-1 and 3-2 wins over third-
placed France in Round 6.
Brazil’s Murilo against Serbia in the final
A spectacular dig by Brazil’s
Bruno in front of the journalists
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