by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Impressive, Gustavo Gomez secured the first game, he proved a micro second too fast; in the second Gaston Alto responded. He won the first six points before the Chilean replied. Gustavo Gomez reduced the deficit to one point at 6-5 but never gained parity. Matters were level.
Time and against Gustavo Gomez directed his attacking strokes wide to the forehand of the Argentine; as the match progressed Gaston Alto responded. Establishing a rhythm to his play, after winning the second game, he was more positive. He captured the third and dominated the fourth.
Remaining in control of his emotions, Gustavo Gomez won the fifth game; the loss fired Gaston Alto, he won the first three points of the sixth game. He increased the advantage to 5-2, José-Luis Urrita, the Chilean coach sitting courtside called “Time Out”. At 6-all, he levelled. Gaston Alto elected for “Time Out”.
Serving, Gustavo Gomez won the next two points but at 9-all it was parity with Gaston Alto to serve. He made full use of the advantage.
“I realised that after losing the first game, he was winning wide to my forehand by playing strongly from his backhand, so when I played to his backhand I pushed the ball harder, more backspin so that he could not play so fast. Throughout the match I wasn’t that confident returning his service but I managed to cope. I took the “Time Out” in the sixth game to calm myself and stop his momentum. Sure it was an advantage that I had the serve at 9-9 in the sixth game; most times I had served long, I decided to change, serve short and make sure I played a strong first attack.” Gaston Alto
Success for Gaston Alto, it was a most creditable finish for one of the most honest and sincere players you could wish to meet.