by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Again it was runners up spot for Amalraj Anthony; the previous week in Chile, he had been beaten in the final of the Men’s Singles event by his colleague, Soumyajit Ghosh (8-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7).
Defeats but Amalraj Anthony could reflect on a most worthwhile visit to South America; on both occasions he had exceeded expectations. In Chile, he had started proceedings as the no.3 seed; in Brazil he was even more of an outsider to reach the final, he commenced matters as the no.8 seed.
“The Brazil Open was very good. The final was really tough for me, also semi-final, quarter- final, so I feel good. Calderano is at a high level, it was not easy but I tried to do my best.” Amalraj Anthony
In the final, in the early games, Amalraj Anthony did cause Hugo Calderano some problems with his deft changes of spin and speed imparted on the ball; however, once the 20 year old Brazilian had secured the third game, a rhythm to his play was increasingly established, as confidence grew.
The power exerted by Hugo Calderano told, Anthony Amalraj showed a great sense of spirit as he urged himself forward with verbal motivation but the Brazilian was increasingly in control.
Strong, especially from the back and noticeably over the table, in the fifth game, after winning five points in a row to move from 4-all to 9-4; Hugo Calderano stood on the threshold of victory. Amalraj Anthony, game to the very end, won the next point but he was to win no more.
Hugo Calderano, who had almost disappeared from view in the opening round when being stretched to the very limit by the Slovak Republic’s Thomas Keinath (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-13, 14-12,) raised his arms in celebration and saluted the crown.
“It was a big challenge. I am returning from injury and I had a very hard opening match. I improved during the competition and I was able show my best in the final.” Hugo Calderano
It was for Hugo Calderano his third appearance in an ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series Men’s Singles final, last year in Austria he had been beaten by Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira in the final; four years ago in 2013, he had won in Santos, a city in the state of São Paulo.
In 2017 the title was regained.