Russians knock favorites out

04.07.2019 - Hamburg. Germany

Liamin/Myskiv and Semenov/Leshukov are headed to the Round of 16 after they eliminated Doppler/Horst and Kantor/Losiak

Russia is set to have three teams in the Round of 16 of the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships as the tandems of Nikita Liamin/Taras Myskiv and Konstantin Semenov/Ilya Leshukov will join compatriots Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Viacheslav Krasilnikov among the sport’s elite in Hamburg.

Liamin, a bronze medalist from the 2017 edition, and Myskiv, who are playing in jus their fourth tournament together, stunned Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst to come out on top of a three-set (21-14, 15-21, 16-14) battle against the silver medalists from Vienna.

“It’s great to see so many Russian teams advancing,” Myskiv said. “It was a really difficult match against the Austrians because they’re a really good team. I think the key for us was that we never thought the game was going away when they came back to tie it 14-14 and we remained strong until the end. We had some problems on the second and third sets but we still managed to win, which is great.”

Liamin and Myskiv will now play Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, who after advancing from the lucky loser round followed it up with a 21-18, 21-15 victory over Qataris Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan in the Round of 32.

Semenov and Leshukov also had strong opponents standing between them and the Round of 16 as the Russians were matched with Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak. They managed to keep the match under control using Semenov’s block to score seven points and Leshukov’s serves to get another three and win it 21-13, 21-17.

“It was very important for us to get this win after losing two matches we really shouldn’t on pool play,” Semenov explained. “The first elimination match is always tough, but we did a good job against Poland. We wanted to come here and play better in every match, which we didn’t, but I hope we can still keep progressing. As any other team here we want the gold medal, so let’s see if we can get it.”

The Russians’ next opponents will also be an American team, the one of Tri Boune and Trevor Crabb, who recovered from a first-set defeat to down Germans Nils Ehlers and Lars Flüggen 15-21, 21-19, 15-10 at the Red Bull Beach Arena.