by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Hugo Calderano proved the star of the show for Brazil, in the second match of the fixture, after Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi had experienced a doubles defeat at the hands of Lam Siu Hang and Ho Kwan Kit (12-10, 11-5, 11-9), he entered the fray.
Imposingly, he beat Wong Chun Ting, currently listed at no.7 on the Men’s World Rankings (12-10, 12-10, 9-11, 11-4), to give Brazil a massive boost. Later with the scores level at two matches each, the young man born in Rio de Janeiro, overcame Lam Siu Hang in three straight games (11-3, 2-11, 11-6, 11-5) to seal the victory.
“Wong Chun Ting, ranked seventh in the world, he’s a great player but today maybe he was not at his best; the last match against Lam Siu Hang, at two-two anything can happen but before the match I felt confident. It’s great for Brazil, we have a big chance now to finish in first place in the group; we beat Hong Kong, one of the strongest countries in the world!” Hugo Calderano
Crucial wins but equally crucial was the win recorded by Gustavo Tsuboi in the third match of the fixture. He staved off a spirited recovery by Ho Kwan Kit (13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7); to give Brazil a two-one lead. However, the advantage was short-lived; Wong Chun Ting beat Eric Jouti to level matters and set the scene for Hugo Calderano.
“My win in the third game was very important because we had the opportunity to win the doubles but we lost. Hugo later put us in a good direction and I knew that winning the third march was very key for the team, I thought that we might lose the fourth match. I am so happy with this win against Hong Kong. Now we just need to go and rest before focusing on the match against the United States. The American team is strong and Kanak Jha played well today. I hope we can win against them.” Gustavo Tsuboi
Success for Brazil, soon after there was success for Korea against Germany, despite the efforts of Dimitrij Ovtcharov. He beat both Lee Sangsu (11-8, 14-12, 11-8) and Jeoung Youngsik (11-9, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9) but those were to be the only successes for Germany.
Jeong Sangeun and Jeoung Youngsik combined to win the doubles against Benedikt Duda and Patrick Franziska (4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6), before Jeong Sangeun accounted for Patrick Franziska (5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7) and in the vital concluding match of the contest, Lee Sangsu defeated Benedikt Duda (11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4).
Korea now meets Australia in the concluding group phase contest, Brazil faces the United States. The fixtures are scheduled for 12.00 noon (local time) on Friday 23rd February.