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Seven nations in women’s last eight at Rome Grand Slam

Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima (left) are one of two Brazilian teams into the quarterfinals
Rome, Italy, June 21, 2013 – Seven different nations will be represented in the women’s quarterfinals at the smart Grand Slam – Rome, after the first and second elimination rounds took place on Friday. 

Brazil are the only nation with hopes of multiple medals at the Foro Italico, with Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima aiming to win back-to-back gold medals after their victory in The Hague a week ago, while Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas De Freitas take on the Corrientes Grand Slam gold medallists Sophie van Gestel and Madelein Meppelink from The Netherlands.

The men’s competition meanwhile has reached the second elimination round stage and by the end of Saturday the semifinals will have been decided. 

Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti recovered from losing their final pool match, but now face one half of the pair that denied them the Rome Grand Slam gold in 2012, Jacob Gibb and his new partner Casey Patterson. 

The team Emanuel and Alison lost to, Kay Matysik and Jonathan Erdmann of Germany will take on Australia’s Christopher McHugh and Isaac Kapa. 

Ross and Kessy finding rhythm and into last eight in Rome

April Ross and Jennifer Kessy eased into the quarterfinals with a straight-sets win over Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat. The US pair beat their compatriots 2-0 (21-15, 21-19) to record their fourth win from four and set up a clash with Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari.

Germany’s Karla Borger and Britta Buthe were another pair to make it into the last-eight, though they had to fight hard to see off the challenge of The Netherlands’ Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel with a 2-1 (25-23, 19-21, 15-12) victory. MORE

Swiss aim for more after claiming ninth place

Swiss pair Sebastian Chevallier and Alexei Prawdzic swept into the second elimination but admitted they wanted to go further still when the men’s competition re-starts on Saturday. 
After securing second place in their pool earlier in the day, they then needed only two sets to defeat Dutch veterans Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil 2-0 (21-12, 22-20). 

Meanwhile Dutch pair Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen matched their best results of the season so far by reaching the second knockout round with a tough three-set 2-1 (21-13, 16-21, 15-13) win over Austria’s Robin Seidl and Alexander Huber. MORE

The Rome Grand Slam is the fourth Grand Slam of 10 on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The competition runs from June 17 until June 23, when both the men’s and women’s finals take place. 

Following the Rome Grand Slam, the world’s leading players take a week’s break before the start of the ninth FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stare Jablonki from July 1-7. After the World Championships are completed the World Tour resumes the following week at the Gstaad Grand Slam in the Swiss Alps. 

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