BREMEN, Germany – Japan scored a win with a 3-1 victory over Russia on Monday to get off to a flying start in the first round of the women’s World Team Table Tennis Championships.
Japan, which won the bronze medal at the previous championships two years ago, saw its ace Ai Fukuhara fall in a defeat to world No. 55th-ranked Svetlana Ganina in the first match before Sayaka Hirano and national champion Saki Kanazawa each disposed of their opponents in straight sets.
Fukuhara, who is ranked 17th in the world, bounced back with a come-from-behind victory in the fourth match. In the first round, 24 teams are divided into four groups of six in a round robin format.