by Simon Daish
Victory at the 2011 Chile Junior and Cadet Open was one of the first instances where the name João Geraldo became well known across the world in the sport of table tennis, however, the Portuguese competitor has gone from strength to strength and is arguably better known for his success in the senior game.
Being a member of the Portugal squads which lifted the Men’s Team trophies at the TMS 2014 European Championships and the 2015 European Games, João Geraldo was winning high-level silverware at a young age and it was at the Qoros 2015 World Championships in Suzhou where the Portuguese athlete really began to shine.
João Geraldo not only managed to negotiate a difficult encounter against Frenchman Adrien Mattenet in the opening round of the Men’s Singles main draw (11-1, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9), but also went on to stun Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit in the Round of 64 (11-4, 11-13, 10-12, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 15-13).
Suzhou 2015 proved to be a successful campaign for João Geraldo and the 21-year-old will be hoping for a similar outing at the upcoming event in Düsseldorf.
Also included in the Portugal selection for the Liebherr 2017 World Championships is Marcos Freitas and Tiago Apolonia, who will be looking to enjoy stronger showings in Düsseldorf than they achieved in Suzhou two years ago.
Marcos Freitas, who was seeded eighth for the tournament, suffered an unexpected early exit to Germany’s Patrick Franziska in the Round of 32 (11-13, 7-11, 10-12, 11-5, 6-11) while Tiago Apolonia was condemned to a six games defeat to Liam Pitchford of England (8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 4-11, 6-11, 9-11) in what could only be considered as a disappointing campaign for the Portuguese duo.
The Men’s Singles runner-up at the 2016 ITTF Europe Top 16 Cup João Monteiro, who made his World Team Championships debut in 2000 and his first individuals World Championships appearance one year later in Osaka, is set to make the trip to Düsseldorf alongside tournament World Championships debutant Diogo Carvalho.