Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the second round of the Men’s Singles event he had beaten the Pär Gerell, the no.24 seed in five games (13-11, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 13-11); in the third round he captured an even bigger scalp when he overcame Hong Kong’s Tang Peng, the no.11 seed, in six games duel (8-11, 14-12, 11-7, 4-11, 12-10, 11-7).
“He began very well in the first game which was different to earlier matches when I had made good starts; I had to keep calm to continue playing my game”, said Hugo Calderano. “After winning the fifth game I felt more confident, I felt that I was playing really well.”
Certainly Hugo Calderano did play well; it was very much the view of Jean-René Mounié the man who had sat courtside advising Hugo Calderano.
“I think that must be just about the best that Hugo has played; I am really proud of him and so very impressed with the way he played tonight”, said Jean-René Mounié who had clearly played a major role in raising his charge to new heights.
“Mentally he was very strong, he is hot in the heart but cold in the blood, he was very positive against Tang Peng who is very fast from the backhand, he gives his opponent very little time to react”, added Jean-René Mounié. “Hugo found answers by attacking his forehand; that put Tang Peng under pressure.”
Defeat for Tang Peng but there were no such problems the other leading names on duty as the early stages in the second round of the Men’s Singles event advanced.
Japan’s Jun Mizutani, the no.4 seed, accounted for Panagiotis Gionis of Greece, the no.19 seed in five games (11-9, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-6), whilst Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik, the no. 9 seed, ended the hopes of Great Britain’s Liam Pitchford, the no.31 seed, by a similar margin6-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-5, 11-5).
Impressive performances and there was one impressive performance which shone above all others.
China’s Ma Long, the top seed, overcame Denmark’s Jonathan Groth, in four straight games (11-3, 11-2, 11-3, 11-9).
I have mixed feelings, I lost but it was a great privilege to play the best player in the world”, sighed Jonathan Groth. “He made just one mistake in the whole match; at 10-5 in the fourth game his made an error with a forehand; I think I played well but everything came back with interest, he is a fantastic player.”
Results in the past year endorse that fact!