Italy versus China


Semifinal: Italy - China

Italy and China have met seven times at the World Championships.  China won the first five encounters, Italy the last two.
The last match between these two at the World Championship was in this year's group stage. China lost 3-1 despite winning the opening set.
At the 2002 World Championships, these nations also met in the semifinal, where Italy defeated China 3-1. 

This is the third time Italy have reached the semifinals. They beat China (3-1) in 2002 when they also claimed the gold medal. Italy lost the semifinal against Russia four years later (3-0).
Italy will finish in the top four for the third time after 2002 (gold) and 2006 (fourth). They were ranked fifth in 2010.
They can become the first hosts to win their semifinal match since Brazil won their match in 1994. In 1998, 2002 and 2006 the host team failed to reach the semifinals and in 2010 Japan lost to Brazil in the semifinals.
The only two times the host team won the gold was in 1952 (URS/RUS) and in 1967 (JPN).

China have reached the semifinals for the first time since 2002, when they were defeated by Italy (3-1).
Their defeat against Italy was China's only loss in the semifinals ever. They won their previous four, all in straight sets.
China set a team record of nine wins in a single edition of the world championship. They had eight wins in 1974, 1982 and 1986.
Last match against Dominican Republic was the 22nd time China were 2-0 down in a world championship match, but the first time they turned it into a 3-2 victory.
China have already lost twice this in this tournament. Italy are the only team to have lost two matches en route to the gold medal in 2002.


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