By Sports Reporter/ Doha
Brazil’s Hugo Calderano became the first player from Latin America to win a WTT trophy following a stunning 4-2 victory over Slovenia’s Darko Jorgic in the WTT Star Contender Doha 2021 men’s singles final yesterday.
Calderano won 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 11-9 at the Lusail Sports Arena. The result marks a significant moment for Calderano who finally converted his promising potential into international success in Doha. An emotional Calderano fell to the floor in disbelief after the match, with the title triumph guaranteeing him career-best world ranking of fifth position.
Seeded second for the event, Calderano made a bright start to the final with a strong opening game display but encountered a major stumbling block soon after. With the final sitting all-square at one game apiece, eighth seed Jorgic remarkably saved three game points in the third game to steal the lead for the first time in the match. Disappointed with the outcome, Calderano dusted himself off and went again, responding by claiming the next three games on the bounce to book his date with destiny.
“I’m feeling great, and I’m so happy to win the title. It was a tough match, both physically and mentally. It probably wasn’t the best level we can play; I think we were both tired from the rest of the tournament, but I was able to push myself and deal with the situation, so I’m very happy with my performance. In the fourth game, I was down 6-3, and I think that was a key moment for me when I recovered as it was very tough for him to come back after I won the game. The main thing is winning the title, of course, but it’s also great to see it showing in the rankings, so I’m just happy and will try and celebrate it as much as I can,” said Hugo Calderano.
Earlier in the day, both Calderano and Jorgic enjoyed impressive semi-final victories, accounting for England’s Liam Pitchford (11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9) and the South Korea’s Lee Sangsu (13-11, 12-14, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2).
Meanwhile, the women’s singles title was awarded to Japanese number six seed Hina Hayata. The 21-year-old opened her day in style as she produced a mesmerising comeback win to eliminate the top seed Jeon Jihee of South Korea in the semi-finals (8-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5).
She followed up with a more decisive victory later in the day, beating Hong Kong, China’s Doo Hoi Kem, the second seed 4-1 at the final hurdle (11-6, 11-6, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7). Hayata leaves Doha with two titles to her name, having won the mixed doubles event alongside compatriot Shunsuke Togami on Friday.
“In the semi-finals, I was 0-3 down against Jeon Jihee. It was very difficult, but I managed to turn it around 4-3. I’m also very happy to beat Doo Hoi Kem as she’s a really good player. I hope this is a good birthday present for my coach!” said Hina Hayata
Japan also emerged as the successful nation in the women’s doubles event, with Miyu Nagasaki and Minami Ando combining to perfection. The unseeded pair stunned top seeds Yang Haeun and Jeon Jihee of South Korean 11-8, 11-9, 11-6. The men’s doubles went to South Korea’s Cho Seungmin and An Jaehyun, who beat England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford 11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-4.
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