Brazil and China finish top two to join World Grand Prix Finals
Brazil can look ahead with confidence after sweeping the preliminary round, dropping only three sets in their attempt to secure a tenth title in the World Grand Prix. Brazil defeated USA in a five-setter on Friday, where they conceded two sets. Brazil also defeated the Dominican Republic and Thailand to complete the sweep.
China had two losses last weekend against Japan and Serbia, but the Asian powerhouse still landed in second place as they collected enough points to put them ahead of finalists Turkey and Russia.
Meanwhile, Belgium will enter the Final Six as the winners of Group 2. The Belgians defeated Poland in straight sets in the Group 2 semifinal, and went on to win the final after a 3-2 victory against group leaders and former World Grand Prix champions the Netherlands.
In Group 3, Bulgaria earned promotion to Group 2 next season after winning the final against the Czech Republic in straight sets.
· Brazil improved their record to 18 consecutive World Grand Prix matches and a set balance of 54-3.
· China finished runners-up to Brazil in last year’s World Grand Prix.
· Turkey’s 3-1 victory over Italy is their first in the World Grand Prix after two previous defeats.
· Russia gave away only 11 points off errors in their straight sets win against Germany on Sunday.
· Japan defeated China for the second time in 22 World Grand Prix encounters.
· Belgium’s Lise Van Hecke had a total of 246 points in this season’s World Grand Prix – the most of all players in the group stage.
· The Netherlands’ defeat against Belgium was only their second in 11 World Grand Prix matches this season.
· Bulgaria are participating in only their second World Grand Prix season after finishing ninth last year.
· The Czech Republic recorded a 7-1 win-loss record in their second season in the World Grand Prix.
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