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Borger and Sude lead home charge at Berlin smart Grand Slam

Germany's Julia Sude (left) and Karla Borger are one of four German teams into the women's second elimination round
Berlin, Germany, August 9, 2013 – Karla Borger and Julia Sude were one of four German teams to reach the Berlin smart Grand Slam second elimination round after they won twice on Friday. 

First off they won their final pool match against Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova 2-0 (21-10, 21-17) and then made it through the first elimination round with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) victory over the Netherlands’ Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel. 

Next up for the pair are FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour leaders Talita Lima and Taiana Lima, who are out for a fifth Grand Slam gold medal of the year. 

“At the end you feel that they got down and weren’t aggressive as they usually are, so it was a little bit easier for us,” Borger said. “It gave us a good chance to stay one step ahead of them.

“We play Talita and Lima tomorrow and they have the pressure. They are much better than us and we have no pressure, so we can have fun.”

Borger has not played on the World Tour since she and Britta Buthe won silver at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. Buthe has been out with an abdominal injury, so Borger has teamed up with an old friend in Julia Side for Berlin, a player with whom she won bronze at the 2009 U23 European Championships. 

“I think she’s (Buthe) better, but I’m not so sure because the doctor said that she would be able to play here, but she is still injured, maybe next week, maybe the week after,” Borger said.

“Our parents competed against one another at the German volleyball championships when we six years old and we used to play together on the side courts and now we are playing together here.”

Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst also made it through to the second elimination round, while Germany’s leading side Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler will take on compatriots Victoria Bieneck and Julia Grossner for a place in the quarterfinals. 

Brazilian sisters hold off against Russian duo

Maria-Clara and Carolina Salgado won their pool’s showdown against Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova to take top spot and go straight into the second elimination round.

The Brazilians had to fight back after losing the first set to the Russians and went on to win 2-1 (21-23, 21-18, 15-9).

“They served so good and are such a good team and getting better all the time,” Carolina said. “Their best thing is their serve, it is really hard. It was a tough match, but we had some luck as both teams played well.”

The Salgados know what it takes to finish on the podium having won two World Tour silver medals and two bronze so far this season and they appeared in confident mood under the Berlin sunshine. 

“I’m enjoying this tournament a lot,” Carolina said. “I think we are getting better game after game and it was so important for us to get better in the pool.”

The Berlin smart Grand Slam is the seventh Grand Slam on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, which is comprised of 10 Grand Slam events and the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships. There are also eight Open events and while they are not part of the World Tour, they still count towards the FIVB World Rankings and help open the door for development of the sport. 

The tournament concludes with the women’s gold and bronze medal matches on Sunday August 11, while the men’s medal matches take place on Saturday August 10. 

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