Brazil knock out Russia in title race; Japan continue unbeaten run
Brazil were very much aware that a defeat against Russia would end their chase for a back-to-back title and the Brazilians showed some clutch performance to win in straight sets and completed their mission to knock out the Russians in the title race. Brazil have recorded their first-ever consecutive straight-set victories over Russia, keeping their title defence campaign alive.
Meanwhile, Japan showed no signs of slowing down as they defeated Belgium, earning the maximum points to lead in the standings – giving them a better standpoint than the defending champions when they play the title decider on Sunday.
The Japanese squad came as the biggest surprise in the competition, achieving new feats in the World Grand Prix and their team history. Japan can win eight consecutive World Grand Prix matches for the first time and can become the second team to win three or more consecutive Final Round matches by a 3-0 scoreline in one season.
In the first match, China snapped their four-match losing streak at the expense of Turkey in a thrilling five-setter. China have now improved their record in the Finals to two wins and two losses, while Turkey dropped three-matches in a row. The match was also Turkey’s third five-setter in the Finals.
• China have now won two of the three meetings with Turkey in the World Grand Prix.
• China won both of the last two five-setters against Turkey in the World Grand Prix.
• Turkey have lost three consecutive World Grand Prix matches for the first time since 2008.
• Brazil’s 3-0 win over Russia ensured that they control their own fate in terms of title defence when they play Japan on Sunday.
• Brazil set an outright record by becoming the first team in this specific match-up to win five consecutive World Grand Prix meetings against each other
• Russia only managed to tally 53 points in this match – the exact total as their last encounter with Brazil.
• Japan followed Brazil with the most consecutive matches won by a 3-0 scoreline – Japan have won three already, while Brazil hold the record with five victories.
• Belgium became the first team to lose at least three Final Round matches in straight sets in a single year.