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Men’s pools take shape as women enter knockout rounds in Rome

Emanuel Rego (foreground) and Alison Cerutti were at their powerful best to take control of their pool
Rome, Italy, June 20, 2013 – The men’s leading teams took control of their pools on day two of the smart Grand Slam – Rome, by securing their second wins from two on Thursday.
World champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti, number one seeds Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo of Italy and USA pairs Jacob Gibb and Casey Patterson, and Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal all did what they had to do and so put themselves in pole position to wrap up their pools and jump straight into the second elimination round on Friday. 

In the women’s draw the pool stage drew to a close and Friday‘s first knockout round took shape.

Pool leaders move straight into the second elimination round, but there were some interesting match ups following the draw, notably between Austrian sister Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger and Finnish twins Erika and Emilia Nystrom. Meanwhile local favourites Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari must defeat Germany's Jana Kohler and Anni Schumacher to progress further in their home tournament. 

Nicolai and Lupo lead chase for home honours in Rome

Italy’s leading men’s pair Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo won their second match after they held their nerve to stop Dutch veterans Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil from fighting back from a set down.

After Nicolai and Lupo had comfortable won the opening set, Nummerdor and Schuil used all their experience to haul themselves back into the match. However, the Italian pair battled hard to stay ahead in the tie-break and kept the Dutch duo at arm’s length to win 2-1 (21-18, 17-21, 15-11).

Polish team Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek were another pair to secure their second wins at the tournament and maintained the momentum of winning the bronze medals at last weeks The Hague Grand Slam beating Switzerland’s Sebastian Chevallier and Alexei Prawdzic 2-0 (21-19, 25-23). MORE

Zumkehr aiming to create more memories at Rome Grand Slam

Nadine Zumkehr made a slow start to the defence of her gold medal, but eventually she and new partner Joana Heidrich managed to get their campaign back on track.

On the opening day of competition the Swiss duo began with a loss to Australians Taliqua Clancy and Louise Bawden, but then recovered to beat Italy’s Giada Benazzi and Viktoria Orsi Toth. They carried that form over into day two when they defeated Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler 2-1 (23-21, 15-21, 15-13) to secure second place in their pool.
Another team to recover from an opening loss were Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Agatha Bednarczuk.

After a loss and win on day one, they needed just two sets to see off Kazakhstan’s Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova 2-0 (21-18, 21-9) in their only match on day two, which means they finish second in their pool. 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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