Semenov & Leshukov upset world champs in Anapa


Ilya Leshukov on centre court in Anapa before the 2020 Russia Cup final

Anapa, Russia, September 16, 2020 – Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov upset reigning world and national champions and defending national cup holders Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Oleg Stoyanovskiy in the 2020 Russia Cup final in Anapa on Monday. Nadezda Makroguzova and Daria Rudykh claimed the trophy in the women’s tournament.

The men’s Russia Cup podium in Anapa

Semenov and Leshukov, silver medallists of the 2019 CEV European Championship and currently #16 in the FIVB World Ranking, took their payback from Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy for the defeats in last year’s Russia Cup final and this year’s Russian Championship final in early September.

Both pairs reached the semifinals in Anapa without dropping any sets in five legs played, but had to resort to tie-breaker victories in their battles for the spots in the gold medal match. Semenov and Leshukov of Podmoskovie Moscow Oblast snatched a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 15-10) win over clubmates Alexander Likholetov and Ruslan Bykanov, while Krasilnikov and Stoyanovskiy of Fakel Novy Urengoy mastered a 2-1 (15-21, 21-9, 15-11) comeback against Russia’s third highest placed duo in the FIVB World Ranking, Nikita Liamin and Taras Myskiv (#21) of Vityaz Anapa.

In the big final, Semenov and Leshukov claimed a 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) victory over the number two team in the World Ranking to triumph with the trophy. Liamin and Myskiv completed the podium after a 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) win over Likholetov and Bykanov in the third place match.

The women’s Russia Cup podium in Anapa

Split along club lines, Nadezda Makroguzova had to face her regular partner in Russia’s highest ranked women’s pair (#21) Svetlana Kholomina in the trophy match in Anapa. The Dinamo Moscow duo of Makroguzova and Rudykh cruised to a 2-0 (21-16, 21-12) shutout of Obninsk’s Svetlana Kholomina and Maria Voronina to top the podium and dethrone last year’s cup winner Voronina, who celebrated the 2019 victory alongside regular teammate Mariia Bocharova.

The only set Makroguzova and Rudykh lost during the tournament was in their exciting semifinal game against Podmoskovie’s Alexandra Moiseeva and Ekaterina Syrtseva (#67 in the World Ranking), which they won by 2-1 (21-23, 26-24, 15-12).

The latter also brought the bronze medal match to a tie-breaker, only to lose to experienced two-time Olympians Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Birlova (#31 in the World Ranking) of Dinamo Moscow, who made the podium on the wings of a 2-1 (19-21, 21-19, 15-7) comeback.

Nadezda Makroguzova and Ilya Leshukov were named Best Players of the women’s and the men’s tournaments respectively.

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