Moscow, Russia, June 3, 2017 - It will be a contest pitting Rio 2016 Olympians as the teams of Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin of host Russia will challenge top-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia after both pairs won afternoon quarter-final matches here Saturday over teams from Poland and Latvia.;
Seeded eighth in the competition, Krasilnikov and Liamin posted a 2-0 (21-18, 21-15) win in 35 minutes to eliminate 24th-seeded Maciej Rudol and Jakub Szalankiewicz of Poland. The Russian pair competed with different partners in the Rio Summer Games with Krasilnikov placing fourth with Konstantin Semenov and Liamin finished fifth with Dmitri Barsouk.
The win also netted Krasilnikov his second semi-final berth in a Moscow FIVB World Tour event as he and Semenov captured the 2014 international Beach Volleyball stop in the Russian capital. Earlier this season, Krasilnikov and Liamin captured the gold medal at an FIVB stop in Iran on Kish Island.
Samoilovs and Smedins advanced by eliminating third-seeded Alison Cerutti and Bruno, the reigning Olympic and FIVB world champions, with a 2-1 (18-21, 22-20, 15-12) win in 53 minutes. It was the ninth FIVB World meeting between the two teams with Alison and Bruno now holding a 5-4 edge.
Aleksandrs Samoilovs (right) of Latvia knuckles against Brazilian Alison Cerutti
The Latvians are competing in their fifth Moscow FIVB event as Samoilovs and Smedins captured the gold medal in 2013. The pair had steadily fallen in the rankings with fifth, ninth and 17th the past three seasons before assuring themselves a guaranteed fourth-place this year.
Alison and Bruno were competing in their fourth-straight Moscow quarter-final as the Brazilians placed fifth in 2014, fourth in 2015 and second in 2016 after losing the three-set finale to Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst of The Netherlands. Alison netted win back-to-back Moscow gold medals with Emanuel Rego in 2011 and 21012.
In the other Moscow quarter-final matches later Saturday, fourth-seeded Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser of the United States will be challenged by 14th-seeded Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland while 10th-seeded and 2015 Moscow winners Pablo Herrera/Adrian Gavira of Spain meet 15th-seeded and 2014 Youth Olympic champions Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin of Russia.