Kerry Walsh controls the ball next to teammate Misty May-Treanor during the Olympic quarterfinals on Aug. 4, 2012. (DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/GettyImages)
LONDON - Beach volleyball's most famous duo is back exactly where it wants to be - the gold medal match.
Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor defeated China's Xi Zhang and Chen Xue 22-20, 22-20 Tuesday night at Horse Guards Parade in front of a very pro-USA crowd.
They overcame a somewhat slow start, falling behind 13-7 in the first set. They jumped to a quick lead in the second set before the Chinese team took the lead 17-16. The score went back and forth from there till the USA prevailed, sending them both into a fit of jumping up and down. They even ran to the stands to hug spectators.
Now, the Americans are just two sets away from their third consecutive Olympic gold medal. They swept through both Athens and Beijing without losing a set.
Here in London, they suffered their first hiccup on the Olympic stage - they dropped one set to Austria's Dorris and Stefanie Schwaiger in group play.
But since then, Walsh and May-Treanor have cruised.
In the round of 16, they beat the Netherlands' duo of Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer 21-13, 21-12. Walsh and May-Treanor followed that up with a 21-13, 21-13 win over Italy's Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari before Tuesday night's semifinal match.
Walsh and May-Treanor will face the America's other team Jennifer Kessy and April Ross. That match is scheduled to take place at 9 p.m. London time.