Russia make it to semis in Göteborg
Göteborg, Sweden, April 15, 2017. The third day of competition at the CEV Satellite Göteborg lived up to all expectations as another 10 exciting matches took place at the local Beach Centre, the world’s largest indoor facility for Beach Volleyball. Supporters rallied to the stands right from the early morning, knowing that Saturday’s games would be important to all teams, and that everyone would give their absolute best to advance to the final day of the tournament.
The day started with another four teams signing out of the Main Draw, thus finishing the competition in ninth place. Denmark’s Kristoffer Abell/Daniel Thomsen and Oleksii Denin/Sergiy Popov from Ukraine both took their respective games to three sets, but fell just short in the tiebreak. Finnish players Santeri Siren/Jyrki Nurminen played their fourth three setter in four games, and this time it did not pay off. After a long game, they had to accept the fact that they had lost to the Turkish team Murat Giginoglu/Safa Urlu losing the tiebreak 14-16. It was their second 14-16 loss in the tournament, and that was it for the only Finnish team in the Main Draw.
The only remaining Swedish team, Simon Boman/Martin Appelgren faced a tough challenge in their must-win game, going up against hard-hitting Latvians Edgars Tocs/Rihards Finsters. The Latvian team had previously eliminated Alexander Annerstedt/Alexander Herrmann from the competition, and did exactly the same thing to Boman/Appelgren. The Swedes managed to keep up with the Latvians almost all the way in the first set, but still ended up losing 21-18. Never really recovering from that loss, Boman/Appelgren could only watch as Finsters kept sending projectile serves from the baseline, thereby giving the Swedish team a one-way ticket out of the tournament.
“This was a huge experience for us, and I am so happy we have been a part of this wonderful arrangement,” Boman said. “It’s a new personal record for us, finishing ninth in a CEV tournament. We played really well in our first game against the Lithuanians, and we now know that we can perform at this level again. We are already looking forward to the next time, which will probably be in Lucerne in May.”
Round three on the winners’ bracket offered two games in the afternoon, and both Germany’s Sebastian Fuchs/Eric Stadie and Russia’s Alexander Likholetov/Ilya Leshukov sent a clear message to the other teams, both securing their place in the semi-finals by winning in straight sets.
One of the best and most thrilling games of the day went down as France, represented by Arnaud Loiseau/Arnaud Gauthier-Rat, played Aliaksandr Kavalenka/Aliaksandr Dziadkou from Belarus. The Belarusian players never gave the French duo the slightest chance of affecting the outcome of the first set, winning safely 21-13. Loiseau/Gauthier-Rat, however, found their way into the game as they displayed a stunning variety of shots. By letting defender Loiseau block, changing from float serves to spin serves, and doing all kind of options offensively, they managed to break the Belarusian team’s rhythm. With a close 21-19 win in the second set, the French team took this nail biter of a game to a tiebreak. Impressing side-out play from both teams kept the tension high, as the young French players struggled to get a hold of Kavalenka/Dziadkou. Belarus responded with Kavalenka delivering shots with surgical precision and Dziadkou hammering his spikes in a fashion that made the organisers worry for the health of the balls. The hard work paid off for the French team, as Loiseau/Gauthier-Rat took the set 15-11 and thus moved on to the next round.
Still feeling the wind in their backs, the French team managed to take down Ukrainians Mykola Babich/Iaroslav Gordieiev in two straight sets (26-24, 21-11), and Turkey’s Giginoglu/Urlu joined them in the semi-finals after beating Israel’s Ariel Hilman/Sean Faiga in an entertaining three setter (21-16, 17-21, 15-10).
The semi-finals start on Sunday at 11 a.m. and the fans cannot wait to witness yet another day filled with world-class Beach Volleyball.
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Information by cev.lu