Hugo Calderano WTT Star Contender Goa

At the end of a very intense weekend, Hugo finished the WTT Star Contender Goa, held in Mapusa, India, as the runner-up. He played five matches over three days, including four against top-20 players.

With his second place finish, Hugo earned 420 points. With the discard of 70 points, which was his eighth best result on the ITTF rankings, he adds 350 points to score 2595 points, remaining in seventh position. Hugo overtakes Lin Yun-Ju, from Chinese Taipei, but is overtaken by Frenchman Félix Lebrun, the champion in Goa.

Remember the WTT Star Contender Goa

As the tournament’s top seed, Hugo had a bye in the first round and made his debut in the second round against Kang Dongsoo, from South Korea, on Friday (26). The match was marked by incredible rallies and sensational defenses from Hugo, who won in straight games, with 11/8, 11/8 and 11/3.

Next up, already on Saturday (27), was another South Korean, Lim Jonghoon, WR 18 and 9th seed. Hugo kept the pace from this opening match and also won 3-0 (13/11, 11/5, 11/1). In the first game, Hugo came from behind, saving a set point on the way, and completely dominated the last two sets.

The match was marked by a moment of fair play, when Lim scored an incredible point by sending the ball around the table. The umpire understood that the ball hadn’t hit the surface and awarded the point to Hugo, making it 4-3. Hugo gave up the next point, leveling the match at 4-4. Curiously, after this incident, he won 18 of the next 20 points.

Still on Saturday, Hugo returned to the table to face Sweden’s Anton Källberg, WR 16 and seeded 8th in Goa. It was the first time Hugo had lost a set, but “the Thrill from Brazil” lived up to his name and kept the impact of his balls to a maximum until he closed out the match 3-1 (11/7, 8/11, 11/8, 11/4).

On Sunday, Hugo faced a tough task: Germany’s Dimitrij Ovtcharov, WR 12, 5th-seeded, against whom he has already played some spectacular matches, including the quarter-finals of the Tokyo-2020 Olympic Games. Hugo won by 3-1 (11/7, 8/11, 15/13, 11/6) in 44 minutes. Hugo even saved two game points in the third set.

In the final, he faced Félix Lebrun, a 17-year-old Frenchman who entered the tournament ranked eighth and 2nd favorite. Hugo started very well and won the first two games, but was eventually beaten 11/9, 11/9, 11/13, 0/11, 13/15, 7/11. He even had three game points to take a 3-0 lead, and had another game chances in the fifth game, indicating a very even match.