Russian pairs shine in Anapa
2014 CEV Beach Volleyball Satellite - Anapa
Anapa, Russia, January 17, 2014. The first day of Main Draw action at the CEV Satellite tournament in Anapa came to an end with all Russian teams continuing their campaign in the men’s competition and another six women’s pairs from the host country also set to vie for more glory.
The first and second-seeded pairs of the men’s tournament did not lose any set on Friday. Yaroslav Koshkarev and Ruslan Bykanov routed their compatriots Igor Velichko and Ivan Golovin before beating Norway's Daniel Bergerud and Svein Oddmund Solhaug in the second round. The Russian team seems to be already in good shape as they never let their rivals score more than 15 points. Top seed Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov were close to the same record but Germany’s Armin Dollinger and Clemens Wickler managed to impose their pace halfway through the second set before the match ended in a 21-11, 21-16 victory for the home heroes.
Tomorrow in the third round Semenov and Krasilnikov will play Austria’s Christoph Dressler and Thomas Kunert, who beat Martin Tichy and Martin David from Czech Republic before they got to play Turkey’s Selcuk Sekerci and Murat Giginoglu. Their clash became one of the tensest and most interesting games of the day. Sekerci and Giginoglu claimed the first set moving and thinking faster than their opponents. However, the Austrians accomplished a dizzy comeback by saving the second set and winning the tie-break afterwards (23-21, 16-14). Yet it seems that Thomas Kunert was ready for such a complicated scenario: “It was quite a tough game; we had a very close second set, and managed to come back. We know that team very well, because we used to practice together. That really helped us win this game. I like the tournament, it is quite ordinary for us to play indoors because we have a hall in Vienna and we were preparing there for the start of the season. I like the sand; it is warm enough, and also the high ceilings of this venue. Actually I do not see any big difference between playing outdoors and indoors. Only you don’t have wind and the sand is less deep.”
The performance of Israel’s Ariel Hilman and Sean Faiga should be singled out as the major sensation of the day. The guys who managed to get to the Main Draw only after beating Michael Murauer and Florian Schnetzer in the qualification were able to see off the third seed of the competition, i.e. Sebastian Fuchs/Thomas Kaczmarek of Germany, in their first game of the day (21-19, 21-17) and then cemented their success by claiming another victory in the fight against Ukraine’s Iaroslav Gordieiev and Eduard Reznik (21-17, 16-21, and 15-13).
Sergei Prokopiev and Ilya Leshukov, who had joined forces right before the start of the tournament, disappointed the local fans after they lost to the above mentioned Ukrainian pair in the first game (11-21, 24-26). However, they successfully re-started their campaign in the losers’ bracket edging Fuchs and Kaczmarek with a double 21-17.
The top three Russian pairs and Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude have claimed two wins each in the women’s tournament. However, the task of the local leaders Evgenia Ukolova and Maria Prokopeva was not that easy at all. In the second round they had to stand the resistance of Ksenia Dabizha and Yulia Abalakina who were strong enough to pocket the first set (18-21), but then were smashed up by their more experienced compatriots (21-10, 15-8).
Ekaterina Syrtseva and former European champion Alexandra Moiseeva (Shiryaeva) easily edged (21-9, 21-4) Russian youngsters Svetlana Kholomina and Anna Sarycheva (just 16 and 17 years old respectively) before taking on a much more challenging game with Kim Behrens and Sandra Seyfferth from Germany (21-16, 21-13). Syrtseva and Moiseeva will now play Laboureur/Sude and the game promises to turn into a real challenge for the second seeded Russian girls: “The second game of the day was much more difficult for us than the first,” Syrtseva said at the end of the day. “We have never met this German team before and were a bit nervous in the beginning. But Sasha served well enough which is very important in this indoors variant of Beach Volleyball. The team that serves well and makes less mistakes always wins; it is just like in ordinary Volleyball.”
“Tomorrow we will meet the Germans Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude,” added Moiseeva. “I don’t think that tiredness will be a problem because the tournament has just started. But we have a very bad record with them – two defeats in two recent games. I hope this time we can take our revenge. Anyway we will be fighting till the very end of the competition.”
Twenty matches will be played on Saturday and all the semi-finalists – both in the men’s and women’s tournaments – will be determined at the end of the day.
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