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26/08/2012 11:00
World-class players to headline final day of EEVZA Tour in Zelenogradsk
News from the Zonal Associations

Zelenogradsk, Russia, August 26, 2012. The final stop of the EEVZA Beach Volleyball Tour – that is also combined with Russia’s Open Cup – is entering its deciding stage after the grid for the semis was determined on Saturday not without any surprise.
In the women’s competition Maria Prokopyeva (née Bratkova) and Svetlana Popova were quite surprisingly defeated by Elizaveta Ryabova and Maria Ushkova. The Muscovites took the first set before the second turned into a very close race where Prokopyeva and Popova eventually had the upper hand at 25-23 to call for the tie-break. As they could rely on their experience, Maria and Svetlana looked like the pre-favorite going into the deciding third set but too many errors in reception and attack combined with a good performance by Ryabova and Ushkova, paved the way to the semis to the ladies representing the VC “Izmailovo” from Russia’s capital city. In the semis Ryabova and Ushkova will play Anna Vozakova and Ekaterina Khomyakova, Russia’s national champions in recent years and 2012 Olympians in London, who did not have any problem to make it to the next round.  
The second semi will be a remake of the match played in the prelims by Evgenia Ukolova and her Italian partner Giulia Momoli against Alexandra Moiseeva (Shiryaeva) and Ekaterina Syrtseva from St. Petersburg. Ukolova and Momoli had claimed a close first set in Pool play before they easily clipped the second but Moiseeva, a European champion in 2006 together with former partner Natalya Uryadova, is looking forward to getting her revenge.

The top-seeded pair of the men’s competition, Russian Olympians Konstantin Semenov and Sergei Prokopiev have made their way to the semis without conceding any set to their rivals. Their next stop will be against one of the major surprises of the tournament, Latvia’s Arnis Tunte and Klavs Zalkalns, seeded 23, who claimed the best result of their career after edging in a close 1/4 final their neighbors from Lithuania Andzej Savostenok and Artur Vasilijev in three sets.
In the second semi Russia’s Dmitry Barsouk and Maxim Khudyakov – who got past, not that easily, their compatriots Ruslan Bykanov and Lev Pryma – will play 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Martins Plavins of Latvia and his partner Yury Bogatov who edged Alexey Yutvalin and Alexander Likholetov quite comfortably in their 1/4 final match.

The tournament will come to a close on Sunday with all matches televised by NTV Sport +; the winners will travel home with a check of 3,000 €

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