The Final Round of the FIVB World Grand Prix gets underway at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo on Wednesday with the match between Serbia and China.
The two teams played each other in their last match in the preliminary round with the Chinese pulling off a 25–17 25–27 25–20 23–25 15–5 victory at the Wuhan Gymnasium.
The Chinese topped the group stage with 25 points and are the only unbeaten team left in the competition while the Serbians placed third with 23 points on seven wins and two defeats.
Despite their win, China head coach Lang Ping wasn't satisfied with the performance of her players.
"This victory was difficult and we know the gap. We can learn a lot from this, and this is a challenge," the legendary player said.
"We must pay attention to the fact that there were ups and downs in (the) match."
Zhu Ting, who scored 18 points in their first meeting, will once again be the player to watch for the Chinese.
The 18-year-old star, who also leads her team in blocks, finished eighth overall in the scoring list in the preliminary round.
Helping Zhu in the offensive chores are Zeng Chunlei, Hui Ruoqi and Xu Yunli.
Other key players for China are setters Shen Jingsi and Mi Yang and libero Chen Zhan.
China is aiming to win its second Grand Prix crown and first medal in this tournament since 2007. The Asian powerhouse won its first Grand Prix title in 2003 and finished runner-up in 1993, 2001, 2002 and 2007. The Asian powerhouse took the bronze in 1994, 1999 and 2005.
Serbia, meanwhile, won its only Grand Prix medal in 2011 when it defeated Russia in the battle for the bronze.
This year, the Serbians began the tournament with five consecutive wins.
Jovana Brakocevic and Brankica Mihajlovic are the one-two scoring punch of the Serbians but the two players did not play in their first encounter against the Chinese.
Taking up the cudgels was Ana Bjelica, who delivered 28 points.
Head coach Zoran Terzic can also count on Milena Rasic, Nadja Ninkovic and Maja Ognjenovic.
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