Jurmala, Latvia. The CEV EuroBeachVolley 2020 taking place in Jurmala, Latvia, resumed with the third match day after extreme weather forced a call for cancellation of all matches on Thursday. As we had already reached the decisive stage of the competition, with much coveted places in the next stage up for grabs, each and every match felt like a final, and surprises did not take long to appear.
Following massive efforts from the all staff present on site on behalf of the CEV and the Local Organizing Committee, an alternative competition venue was made available at Rukkii Beach. This has provided the organizers with enough time to make the main event location at Majori Beach suitable for the weekend, for the final matches of the competition.
Major surprises in the women’s competition
The Round of 16 had some of the most exciting matchups so far, yet they started quietly with favorites Kozuch/Ludwig getting passed the extremely talented fellow German nationals Ittlinger/Laboureur (2-0: 21-15, 21-16) and Swiss star duo Heidrich/Vergé-Dépré overcoming the Dutch pair Keizer/Meppelink. Also through to the Quarter Finals from the matches that started first are Hermannova/Slukova (CZE), Bienneck/Schneider (GER) and Makroguzova/Kholomina (RUS).
With three spots left available for the Quarter Finals, the surprises started taking place. First one came when the 2019 champions, Latvian stars Kravcenoka/Graudina faced the Italians Menegatti/ Orsi Toth and lost in two sets (16-21,13-21). “Italy just played good and we were not ready for their game. We were not in right form physically and mentally, too.” said Anastasija Kravcenoka after the match. Tina Graudina added, as se left the court very emotional, “No excuses, for everyone it was the same. Italy showed wonderful game today, they knew what they have to do, so we can only congratulate them. We are so happy that we could play and that the event wasn’t cancelled. We got another experience against this top level team and now we know what we have to improve for the next time.”
After securing a much coveted Quarter Finals sport, Menegatti said: “I think that we prepared well our tactic against Latvian team. I am very proud of us, we’ve been fighting from this morning. We won a very tough game against Russian team and now this one. Our energy was really good, we wanted to play a very good game and we did it.”
Following the exit of the former champions, two more suprises followed suit as the Finnish pair Lehtonen/Ahtiainen eliminated Spanish duo Liliana/Elsa in 3 sets (21-13, 19-21, 15-17) and the Germans Behrens/Tillman managed a great performance a they defeated number 1 favorites of the tournament, the Swiss pair Hüberli-Betschart in two sets (18-21, 15-21).
Getting ready for the Round of 16 and the Quarter Finals in the Men’s competition
In the men’s competition, matches played in the morning, Russian stars Krasilnikov/Stoyanovskiy had to push hard in the tie-break to save two match points in their game against Kantor/Losiak, “It was a tough match. Because of the storm yesterday nobody could prepare well, I think. We had to find a rhythm in new venue, make sideouts again and work well in reception and service. I think we were pretty good today and we are happy that we managed to win. Finally we can play even on different courts, but everybody has equal conditions, so we just have to adapt to this”, said Oleg Stoyanovskiy.
After the round of 24, two of the top seeded teams, Brouwer/Meeuwsen and Thole J./Wickler, one of the favorites of the competition, who were eliminated by Lupo/Nicolai following a tie-break, a good return from the Italians after losing the first game in the tournament just two days ago. For full results from today click HERE
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