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Lili and Seixas eye medals after reaching last four in Gstaad

Lili (left) and Seixas have continued their rich vein of form in Gstaad
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 12, 2013 – Liliane Maestrini and Barbara Seixas are on course for a third consecutive medal after reaching the semifinals of the Gstaad Grand Slam on Friday.

The Brazilians beat USA’s Emily Day and Summer Ross 2-0 (21-12, 21-11) to stand one win away from their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour final having gone through qualification ahead of the main draw.

“I think we have developed a good rhythm, but we have so many matches at the moment.” Lili said. “All we want is to go point by point and just think of that game and not think about the next match. 

“We just want to put all our energy into the game we are playing and this is why we are getting the results we are.”

Lili and Seixas are on a good run of form and won medals in their most recent tournaments. First they won bronze medals at the Rome Grand Slam and then repeated the third place finish at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013.

That they are enjoying such rapid success in their first season on the World Tour together should not come as surprise as they won the FIVB U21 World Championships together in 2007. 

“We want to get to the final now,” Lili added. “We know we have the German team (Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst) now. We know they are a good team and we respect them a lot, but we will try to do our best and reach our first final together.”

Ludwig and Walkenhorst out to halt Brazilians

Ludwig and Walkenhorst will be aiming to stop Lili and Seixas and reach their first final as a team after winning three matches.

Having won their first and second elimination round matches earlier on Friday, they had enough energy in reserve to beat the USA’s Jennifer Fopma and Brooke Sweat 2-0 (21-18, 21-17).  

“It was tough, we had three games today and it was really hard and really hot and a long day, but we fought and did well,” Walkenhorst said. “We were nervous in the second set when we started to realise that we might win and get to the semifinals, but we got back to our game and stayed strong and won.”

Gstaad has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Walkenhorst, while Ludwig is hoping to reach her first World Tour final since she and Sara Goller lost to Switzerland’s Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr in the final of the 2012 Rome Grand Slam. 

“Last year was my first time in the main draw and now it is my first time in the semifinals,” Walkenhorst said. “We didn’t think we would get to a semifinal in our first year, but now we will enjoy it and try to do our best.”

In the other semifinal China’s world champions Chen Xue and Zhang Xi will meet the year’s most successful side, Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima, who have already three World Tour gold medals to their names.

The Gstaad Grand Slam is the fifth Grand Slam of 10 on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The tournament began with women’s qualifying on Tuesday July 9 and ends with women’s and men’s medal matches on Sunday July 14.

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