by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
It was most certainly an inspired performance; one wonders how soon the time will come when, as opposed to being the very much the first reserve for Portugal, the support act for Tiago Apolonia, Marcos Freitas and João Monteiro, he becomes a front line soldier.
Gold medallist on the ITTF World Junior Circuit in Chile in 2011, it was at the Finals stage some four years ago in January 2013, in the small Central American country of Guatemala that João Geraldo really made his mark on the international scene.
He reached the title deciding contest where he was beaten by the sheer speed of fellow left hander Japan’s Masataka Morizono.
In New Delhi, just like in Guatemala Masataka Morizono also enjoyed success in his first round Men’s Singles duel but he experienced a much tougher challenge than that witnessed by João Geraldo. The no.9 seed, he needed the full seven games to end the hopes of India’s Stathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8).
Success for Masataka Morizono as status advised; it was the same for his colleague and doubles partner, Yuya Oshima. The no.5 seed, he overcame the Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik in five games (11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 18-16, 11-2).
A place in round two as status advised; it was the very same for Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, as luck ran out for Saudi Arabia’s Abdulaziz Al-Abbad.
The one player to receive a “Lucky Loser” spot in the main draw, he was beaten in four straight games by the top seed (11-3, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2).