So far the semi finals have had moments of certainty and moments of surprise.
That Brazil and Russia won both their matches were moments of certainty, although the fact they had to play ten sets each was a surprise. The overall performance of Brazil has been a surprise. They have lacked rhythm and have seemed disjointed at times. Bruno was terrible against Serbia and while Marlon is normally not in his class, he held it together well enough to win. Russia showed how they can dominate in a couple of sets, but they can’t be happy to be playing those five setters.
Serbia have been very surprising. They are basically a bunch of no names, missing their biggest stars, but are compact, organised and passionate and will have nothing to lose in the semi final against Russia. Russia will be playing for everything, and we know how that affects them.
Italy, having been a mild surprise in reaching the finals and playing so well to this point, surprised again by going down in three sets to Cuba. Cuba are certainly young, dynamic and aggressive but to win so easily wasn’t really expected.
So, to the semi finals… Brazil to just about fall over the line in five sets, with Giba inspiring the team at critical moments and the young Cubans making a couple of crucial errors. Russia to win in four sets are Serbia with many heart flutters and the most animated Bagnoli performance ever.
And the final..? Too close to call based on current form.