by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success for Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi; moreover it is a landmark success.
The win means that the Brazilians (326 points) move into a top seven place on the ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles Standings when taking into account those pairs who have met the four appearance mandatory qualification criteria. Notably the top seven pairs plus one from the host nation qualify for the Seamaster Qatar 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals to be staged next month in Doha.
“This is our first win ever on the World Tour so we are really happy about this; we have qualified for the Grand Finals and we hope that we can take part in it”, Hugo Calderano.
Additionally, it is the first time a Brazilian pair or a Brazilian player for that matter has won an ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles title and in what is now 285 Men’s Doubles events. In the past the South American country has come close; on four occasions they have finished in runners up spot with Hugo Calderano being involved in two of those meetings.
On home soil in Santos, in harness with Cazuo Matsumoto in 2012 it was defeat at the hands of Korea’s Oh Sangeun and Ryu Seungmin; later at the Super Series tournament in Qatar in 2015 it was the silver medal when, as now, partnering Gustavo Tsuboi. They pair experienced defeat at the hands of the combination formed by Croatia’s Andrej Gacina and Portugal’s Marcos Freitas.
“We actually played better earlier in the tournament. Maybe we were a bit nervous because we realized we had a good chance to win. We took the initiative and we were more aggressive than our opponents. I also think we were better in service and receive and when we also could win the long rallies which is the strength of our opponents, we became really confident”, Gustavo Tsuboi.
The further occasions when the runners up spot has been the Brazilian lot came in 2011 in Chile and in 2015 in Argentina; both defeats being at Argentine hands. In Chile Cazuo Matsumoto and Eric Mancini lost to Liu Song and Javier Cillis, four years later Eric Jouti and Massao Kohatsu were beaten in the final by Gaston Alto and Pablo Tabachnik.
Meanwhile, for Antoine Hachard it was his third career ITTF World Tour Men’s Doubles final, Stéphane Ouaiche his first.
Partnering Romain Ruiz, earlier this year he had won in Chile but in Australia it had been runners up spot; in Chile the pair had beaten Gaston Alto and Pablo Tabachnik in the final, in Australia the pair had experienced defeat at the hands of Japan’s Takuya Jin and Yuka Morita.
Alas for Antoine Hachard it was again defeat; in Stockholm the top step of the podium belonged to Hugo Calderano and Gustavo Tsuboi, new chapter in Brazilian sporting history had been written.