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Big names off to strong start at Berlin smart Grand Slam

Bruno Schmidt (left) and Pedro Salgado finished day one of the Berlin smart Grand Slam with a brace of wins
Berlin, Germany, August 07, 2013 – The Berlin smart Grand Slam got underway on Wednesday with the men’s main draw and women’s qualification rounds. 

The men played the opening two matches in their main draw pool play, while eight women’s teams made it through to main draw pool play that begins on Thursday. 

First seeds Pedro Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt enjoyed a successful day with a brace of victories, as did second seeds Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia. 

In total eight teams qualified for the women’s main draw, with teams from Brazil, Canada, Austria, Argentina, Germany and Russia all reaching pool play. 

European champs off to a flying start

Newly crowned European champions Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira continued their rich vein of form with two wins from two. 

First off the Spanish pair defeated their compatriots Francisco Alfredo Marco and Christian Garcia 2-0 (21-16, 24-22) and then followed up with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-18) win over USA’s Ryan Doherty and Todd Rogers.

“I’m very happy with our work today,” Herrera said. “We came here from Klagenfurt (European Championships) and knew we had to really concentrate hard after a tough week there.” More

Brazilians and Canadians lead women’s qualification

Agatha Bednarczuk and Maria Antonelli made light work of the qualification round when they beat Takemi Nishibori and Sayaka Mizoe to be one of eight teams to reach the women’s main draw. 

The Brazilian pair beat their Japanese counterparts 2-0 (21-13, 21-18) in 33 minutes. 

“This is the first qualification tournament for Maria and me and we just focused on playing well,” Agatha said. “We didn’t give the other team any chances and I think we did what we had to do today.”

Joining them in pool play are Canada’s Jamie-Lynn Broder and Kristina Valjas, who beat Vasiliki Arvaniti and Panagiota Karagkouni of Greece. 

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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