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Men’s final four eye medals at Berlin smart Grand Slam

Brazil's Evandro Goncalves (left) and Vitor Felipe are one win away from reaching the Berlin smart Grand Slam final
Berlin, Germany, August 9, 2013 – Three teams will make their FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Grand Slam semifinal debuts, when the men’s tournament at the Berlin smart Grand Slam draws to a close on Saturday. 

Brazil’s Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves and Italy’s Andrea Tomatis and Alex Ranghieri have progressed all the way from the qualifying rounds and will now meet in the second semifinal at 13.05, local time.

The first at 12.05 is between Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov, a team playing in their first tournament together. However, they will have to beat newly crowned European champions Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira of Spain, who also won silver at the most recent Grand Slam, in Long Beach, USA.

In the women’s competition teams face two rounds of matches, but by the end of the day they will know who will play in the semifinals on Sunday. 

World Tour leaders Talita Antunes and Taiana Lima remain in the hunt for a fifth Grand Slam gold medal of the season, while Germany’s number one side Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler are one of four home teams eyeing a place in the latter stages. 

Italian qualifiers keep up run to last four

It has been a long week for Tomatis and Ranghieri, but the pair are now one match away from the Berlin smart Grand Slam gold medal match after reaching the semifinals on Friday.
The Italians won all three matches starting with Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Jonas Weingart, which was followed by a three-set thriller against Latvia’s World Tour rankings leaders Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs.

Their run culminated in a 2-0 (21-19, 21-19) win over the last remaining German men’s team, Sebastian Dollinger and Stefan Windscheif to set up a semifinal against another team who made it through qualification, Brazil’s Vitor Felipe and Evandro. MORE

Borger and Sude lead home charge in Berlin 

Karla Borger and Julia Sude were one of four German teams to reach the 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. 

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

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

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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