Tuesday, 19 June 2018
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Saori urges Japan to maintain their momentum

"Our goal for this World Championship is to finish in the top three, in order to do that we needed to win all games in this first round," Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said after his side went five wins from five matches in the first round.

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe:
"We expected this game to be tough. Our players were very concentrated, especially in the latter stages. I think this is why we won. Our goal for this World Championship is to finish in the top three, in order to do that we needed to win all our games in this first round."

Japan player Saori Kimura:
"We made many mistakes that led to a difficult match, but we kept our concentration until the end. I am satisfied to have won. Our team's objective for the first round was to win all the matches and we're happy to reach this goal. I feel the real competition will start in the second round, and I expect the difficult matches are waiting for us. We need to unite as a team and keep up our current rhythm.
(On her preparation) "From yesterday my rhythm became good, and I saw the blockers well. This let me find spaces to place my shots."

Japan player Kaori Inoue:
"At the beginning I didn't play well but the team came together and we all played our roles and worked well.
(On her two aces) "Before the game I knew the Serbians were strong on receiving long balls, so I took a little bit off my serve to adjust."

Japan player Yukiko Ebata:
"The Serbian blocking was really good and I had difficulty attacking, once on three consecutive points. It affected our confidence. In the fourth set I adjusted and tried to watch their blockers more closely in order to attack better."

Serbia captain Jelena Nikolic:
"It's very difficult to say something after this game that we lost 3-1, which we could have won 3-1. Each set was decided by one or two balls. It's painful to lose like this today, because we played very well. We gave them some easy points, and they knew what to do with them."

Serbia coach Zoran Terzic:
"First of all I would like to congratulate the Japan team, and to say after one long period today I am very satisfied and very proud of how my team played. We played one very, very good game and I'm very proud of my girls tonight.
(On losing three sets over 25 points) "It's difficult to say what made the difference but I think that we lost those sets before, not in extra time because of so many easy balls, and Japan made points of those easy balls. This was the problem for us tonight. Nothing else.
(On the team's serving) "We made a lot of mistakes especially in the first set. But overall I'm satisfied with our serving tonight."

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