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2 August 2012
London, Great Britain, July 31, 2012 – Serbia scored its first win in the men’s Olympic tournament by edging Tunisia 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 20-25, and 25-18) in front of some 10,500 spectators in attendance at Earls Court. With this result Serbia improved its Olympic record against Tunisia to 3-0 and got back on track after losing in straight sets its opening match with the USA on Sunday. This the second defeat for the African representatives in the Olympic after the opening loss against Brazil.
Aleksandar Atanasijevic scored 24 points en route to this win with impressive figures being registered also by Uros Kovacevic (19) and Marko Podrascanin (14, including 8 blocks). Hamza Nagga scored 22 for Tunisia. Serbia imposed its pace to claim a 2-0 lead but then suffered a drop of concentration thereby opening the way to Tunisia that called for a fourth set that was nevertheless dominated by the 2011 European champions. Serbia outclassed Tunisia in all fundamentals with 18 blocks vs. 11 for the guys from Northern Africa and with 9 aces confirming the very solid performance of the group captained by Bojan Janic also from the serving line.
The first set was all Serbia, with their greater efficiency on attack giving Tunisia little chance of getting off to a positive start.
In the second the Serbs got off to a quick start, building a big lead early, but Tunisia was able to peg them back, going on a three-point run on the back of Elyes Karamosly’s strong serve. However, despite pulling the score back to 20-18, Tunisia was unable to overhaul their opponents and eventually lost the set 25-21.
The third set was the most competitive of the match. Tunisia established a two-point lead at the beginning, and rode a much improved spike rate (42.86%) to the 25-20 set victory.
After the third set hiccup, Serbia was ruthless in the fourth and final set, establishing a five-point lead at 10-5, a margin that they extended to 25-18 by the end of the set.
Tunisia is still searching for their first win of the Games, and things do not get much easier with their next opponents being the unbeaten powerhouse Russian team. Serbia plays Germany next, with both matches scheduled for Thursday, August 2.
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