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2018-08-15 13:26:00 CEST

Payback for last week!

Lupo/Nicolai get the better of Latvian friends

Lupo/Nicolai, who won bronze in Gstaad, lost to Samoilovs/Smedins last weekLupo/Nicolai, who won bronze in Gstaad, lost to Samoilovs/Smedins last week

Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo fought back to maintain their strong record against Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins and avenged their defeat to them in Moscow last week.

The Italians, who won bronze here 12 months ago, lost the first set but stormed back to take down the Latvians, who came into the tournament having taken the gold medal in Russia.

“It’s a very good start, they won the last tournament and they are in good shape,” Nicolai said afterwards. “They beaten us in three in Moscow and today we got a small revenge for that.

“It might only be pool play but you still need to win so it’s important. We’re really happy.”

Daniele and Paolo have now beaten the Latvians in 10 of the 13 meetings in all competitions, with six of those wins coming in three sets.

“They are always a tough team to play, they are one of the best in the world,” Lupo told us. “There’s always a possibility that it can go to a third set and we are happy that we have won many of them. We know how to do it but know we have to play very well to do that.”

After their third place last year, it goes without saying that the Italians want to go one – or two – better here in Hamburg.

“This year we’ve had two medals on the Major Series [silver in Fort Lauderdale and bronze in Gstaad] so I think we deserve to have our place and chance to do well here,” said Paolo. “That’s why we will try our best.”

Latvians Samoilovs/Smedins were disappointed to let their first set advantage slip away against the Italians.

“It’s always a fight against them – we started well but we weren’t patient enough,” said Aleksandrs. “Lupo changed his sideout style and we didn’t adapt. Then in the second set Nicolai found his serve. That was the difference.”

The Lion King and Smedins have a quick chance to turnaround their fortunes when they take on Poles Kantor/Losiak on the Red Bull Beach Arena at 6pm CEST. Watch that game live on BeachStream.

And we're off! Watch all the action from #HamburgFinals live on BeachStream [link in bio☝️] @kantybv @kantorlosiakbvt @oleg.stoyanovskiy @velichko_ov @vodafone_de @hamburg_de @redbullgermany

361 Likes, 1 Comments - Beach Volleyball Major Series (@beachmajorseries) on Instagram: "And we're off! Watch all the action from #HamburgFinals live on BeachStream [link in bio☝️]..."

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