Four of the top five seeds includinghome favorites Xue Chen/Zhang Xi and two-time Olympic championsKerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor of the United States crashed out ofthe 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour Beijing Grand Slamhere on Friday. Meanwhile reigning world champions and third seeds of thetournament Larissa Franca and Juliana Felisberta Da Silva of Brazilmarched towards their first title of the season with consecutivestraight-set wins. Xue/Zhang, the top seeds of China who have won two titles and abronze in the first three women’s events of the new season,surprisingly lost to seventh seeds Kristyna Kolocova/MarketaSlukova from Czech Republic 14-21, 21-17 and 15-11 in a secondround elimination match to settle for a disappointing ninth finish. “They were the better team today. It’s the first time we playedagainst them this year and I think they have improved a lot,” saidZhang Xi. Deck Roll Forming Machine
“From the second set they made some changes which wefailed to adopt and we were not good enough in counter-attack.” Kolocova/Slukova, whose last victory over the Chinese duo can betraced back to July 2010 in Marseille, were excited with thehard-fought win in 49 minutes. “It feels perfect and we were playing our best. We were good atside-outs, we were good at serving, so we are very happy about it,”said Kolocova. However, Kolocova/Slukova could not surpass Italy’s 10th seedsGreta Cicolari/Marta Menegatti in the quarter-finals Fridayafternoon. Purlin Roll Forming Machine
In a rematch of their pool clash on Thursday, thecombination from the Czech Republic lost in three sets again. Walsh/May Treanor, who had come back from an opening loss to winthe top place of their preliminary pool, missed the chance torepeat their title-winning feats in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Gamesand the 2011 Beijing Grand Slam after falling to the fifth seededcompatriots Jennifer Kessy/April Ross 24-22 and 24-22. Later on Friday, Kessy/Ross were also sent packing by SanneKeizer/Marleen Van Iersel as they lost a three-set thriller againstthe sixth seeds from the Netherlands 21-13, 13-21, 15-10. Second seeds Talita Antunes/Maria Antonelli of Brazil failed toreach the quarter-final round following a 21-19, 21-13 loss toGermany’s 21st seeds Katrin Holtwick/Ilka Semmler, upset winnersover Kessy/Ross in Wednesday’s pool play. Holtwick/Semmler went on to rally past Belgium’s 18th seedsLiesbeth Mouha/Katrien Gielen 18-21, 21-12 and 18-16 in 45 minutesFriday afternoon to make the semifinals. Downspout Roll Forming Machine Manufacturer
Having 42 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour titles undertheir belt but yet to win a trophy in 2012, Larissa/Juliana saw offAustralia’s 20th seeds Nathalie Cook/Tamsin Hinchley 21-10 and21-18 before ousting Germany’s eighth seeds Sara Goller/LauraLudwig 21-18 and 21-17. Nevertheless, Juliana would take nothingfor granted. “It’s not going be easier (to win the title). Three good teams out,but there are more good teams left in the tournament. Like I saidyesterday, I don’t worry about other teams,” she said.
“I’m happybecause today our performance were very good and we played veryhard, we really hope to keep doing that for tomorrow.” Larissa/Juliana will face Holtwick/Semmler on Saturday morning’ssemifinals where Keizer/Van Iersel await Cicolari/Menegatti. The women’s final of the Beijing Grand Slam is set for Saturdayafternoon, while the men’s action will also continue on Saturdaywith two elimination round matches. The Chinese capital is hosting international beach volleyballevents for the second straight year since the 2008 Olympic Gamesand the Beijing Grand Slam is the fourth event on the 2012 FIVBBeach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour for both men and women.