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Argentina tops the pool with a little bit of luck and determination

Argentina's Ian Mehamed and Julian Amado Azaad won the battle for top position in pool D
Anapa, Russia, July 26, 2013 – Argentina’s Ian Mehamed and Julian Amado Azaad won a tight battle for top position in pool D at the Anapa Open on Friday. The South Americans defeated Germany’s Finn Dittelbach and Eric Koreng 2-1 (13-21, 21-17, 15-11), who had also claimed two wins so far, to advance to the second elimination round unbeaten.

Mehamed (23) and Azaad (22) lost the first set to the Germans, but made a strong comeback. “We started out bad”, Mehamed said. “They took a lot of points from us, but in the second we paid more attention to the details and we could make a bridge with our block.”

In the tiebreak the teams played point by point until 10-10, then the Argentineans leaped forward thanks to some strong serving from Mehamed.

“I think winning a tiebreak is always a combination of luck and determination. At the end we played four points or so that could have gone either way.”

Icy calm

And while the Germans got frustrated and shouted and gestured a lot, the Argentina team stayed icy calm. “We used to play like that”, Mehamed said. “But we learned that if we shout, we don’t play well.”

Mehamed and Azaad are only playing their third FIVB event in their first season together, after the Grand Slams in Corrientes (17th) and Gstaad (25th). “So this is already our third main draw.”

“Before we came here we just wanted to play well and hoped we could make it through the pool. So we won a lot today. Making it to the second elimination round is already a victory for us. But from now on every game is going to be difficult.”

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