On Friday, World No.5, China will be going for their 12th consecutive win in this year’s tournament. This is also their 260th match in the World Grand Prix, a tournament where they have played world No. 1, USA on 30 previous occasions. (Brazil goes into their 251st match of the World Grand Prix while Japan will play their 232nd match of the tournament.) China currently holds a 18-12 edge over their American counterparts.
This is the third time China have won 11 consecutive matches in the World Grand Prix. A victory over the USA on Friday would equal their longest World Grand Prix winning streak of 12 matches that they recorded in 2007/8. But the USA have won the last five World Grand Prix matches between the teams and have taken 10 consecutive sets against China in World Grand Prix play coming into this match. As China has not beaten the USA since 2007, a victory will definitely be all the sweeter if they can manage to notch up this win.
In the second match of the day, world No. 2 Brazil will go head-to-head with world No. 4, Italy. Having met on 20 previous occasions in the World Grand Prix, Brazil holds a commanding 16-4 edge over their European counterparts.
With two wins from two World Grand Prix Finals matches in 2013, Brazil join China as the only team yet to lose a match or drop a set in this year’s Finals. A win over Italy would give Brazil more than seven consecutive World Grand Prix wins for the eighth time in their history. A victory would also make Brazil the first country to win 200 matches in the tournament, with China coming in second with 165 wins entering Friday’s matches. Italy go into the match with Brazil having now lost five out their last six World Grand Prix Finals matches and eight out of their last 10.
Hosts Japan will then take on Serbia in the third match of the day. The two countries have met only twice before in World Grand Prix play. Serbia has alternated wins and losses in their last five World Grand Prix Finals matches and if this pattern holds up, they are due for a loss against Japan.
To read more articles from this competition click on World Grand Prix 2013.