Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2017 - Russia meet Japan Sunday in Hong Kong for the 30th in FIVB World Grand Prix history. It's must win game for Japan in their quest for a ticket to teh Final Six of the 2017 edition, but Russia, who lead the series 19-10, would like to celebrate their 250th game in the competition with a win to go out in a bang.Head-to-Head
• Russia have won their last four major encounters with Japan, following a 3-1 defeat against them in Tokyo in the 2014 World Grand Prix.
• They last met at the Olympic Games in Rio last summer. In the pool phase, Russia won in straight sets.
• Japan won each of their first five World Grand Prix meetings with Russia, but then Russia won 19 of their next 24.Japan
• Japan have won five and lost three matches in the 2017 World Grand Prix.
• On Saturday, Japan fought back from a 2-0 deficit in sets to claim a five-set victory over Serbia. On 9 July, they also beat Netherlands 3-2 after being two sets down. Until this campaign, Japan had never achieved two such comebacks in any single World Grand Prix season.
• For the first time since 2014, Japan could win more than five matches in a single World Grand Prix campaign. Back then, they won eight.Russia
• Russia have three wins and five defeats in the 2017 World Grand Prix.
• After beating China 3-1 on Saturday, the Russians have the opportunity to win back-to-back matches for the second time this season. They beat Dominican Republic and Belgium successively last week.
• Kseniia Parubets (22 points) and Irina Voronkova (20) led their team in scoring, while Irina Zaryazhko (6 kill blocks), Parubets (4) and Ekaterina Evdokimova (4) showed impressive defence at the net.
This match against Japan will be Russia’s 250th in the competition (164 wins, 85 defeats thus far).