30 Jul 2017

Surprise winner of the Cadet Boys’ Singles title at the 2008 Latin American Junior and Cadet Championships in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias, now 23 years old, on the morning of Sunday 30th July, Eric Jouti booked his place in the final of the Men’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Pan American Cup in San José, Costa Rica.

He was followed by Brazilian colleague, Gustavo Tsuboi to secure an all Brazilian final; the work of Francisco Arado, the Brazilian national coach sitting courtside, who represented Cuba at Perrier 1995 Men’s World Cup, was complete.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Eric Jouti, the no.3 seed, beat Gustavo Gomez, the no.8 seed (8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7); Gustavo Tsuboi, the top seed, ended the hopes of Argentina’s Gaston Alto, the no.7 seed (11-8, 11-3, 11-3, 11-9).

Gustavo Gomez had enjoyed a quite outstanding second day in San José, qualification for the main draw then success against Kanak Jha of the United States; the question posed was as to whether he could continue that form on the concluding day of action.

My mind wandered back to the 2006 Serbian Open in Belgrade when Italy’s Mihai Bobocica had enjoyed tremendous success on the penultimate day. Austria’s Kostadin Lengerov, the eventual runner up, made the astute comment that you can exceed all expectations on one day but then to repeat the success the next day rarely happens.

He was proved correct in Belgrade and it was somewhat the same situation for Gustavo Gomez; he made an electric start but then wise words from Francisco Arado, changed matters.

“I missed easy balls in the first game, especially on my first attack and my receive but I still felt confident. I felt that if I played to my level then I could come back and win; from the second game onwards I was more precise with my play, more accurate. Most of the time I used backspin services and played with a lot of top spin on the first ball.” Eric Jouti

Problems in the opening game; then authority asserted; it was the same for Gustavo Tsuboi, the only difference being that the Brazilian won the opening after Gaston Alto had chances.

Gaston Alton may have been the more powerful player but he was given less and less chances to exert that power; in the vital area of serve and receive, Gustavo Tsuboi held the advantage.

“I expected a much closer match; last year when we played in the Olympic qualifier in Santiago I won four-three. I lost concentration in the fourth game but I was able to recover my focus. Last year I was coming back from injury; this year from holiday!”

The third place match and the final will be played later in day.

World Cup 2017 Pan American Cup Gustavo Tsuboi Eric Jouti Gaston Alto Gustavo Gomez

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