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Brazil's Hugo Calderano makes it to men's final.

Victor Bolorunduro Doha Brazil's Hugo Calderano, the world No. 13, prevented a traditional all-Chinese final in both the men's and women's singles as he scripted a sublime 11-9, 11-8,11-3,11-6 semi-final win trouncing Chinese Gaoyuan Lin at the 2018 ITTF World Tour Platinum Qatar Open in Doha on Saturday. The 21-year-old Rio-born player will now face China's Fan Zhendong, who defeated compatriot Xu Xin 4-1 (11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9) in the other last-four clash, for the highly coveted trophy and the $28,000 winner's cash prize on Sunday. Just like the previous year, the 2018 Women's Singles title is also going the way of the Chinese as Shiwen Liu and Manyu Wang emerged the finalists at the end of the day's proceedings on Saturday. Wang was in devastating form as she walloped pre-tournament hopeful Meng Chen 4 - 1 (11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7) in what was almost a one-sided semi-final match while Shiwen produced another 4 - 1 (11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-4) victory against Japanese Kasumi Ishikawa in other match. Gaoyuan, the No.3 seed had overcome Hong Kong's Wong Chun Ting, the No.6 seed (11-7, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7) in the quarters before setting up the semis clash against Calderano who earlier overcame Japan's Tomokazu Harimoto, the No.8 seed in an equally devastating manner (11-5, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7). The victory was a sweet revenge for the Brazilian against the Japanese whom he had met twice in World ranking events and experienced defeats. Both contests had been in semi-finals on the ITTF World Tour. In 2006 in Tokyo, he had lost in the Under 21 Men's Singles event, while last year in Olomouc he had suffered the same fate in the Men's Singles competition. The Japanese seized the early advantage before Calderano quickly asserted his authority on proceedings. He won the opening two games in style before in the third establishing a 4-1 lead. Sensing the danger, the Japanese camp called"Time Out". It was to no avail as there was not stopping the Brazilian, The only moment of any concern for Calderano came in the fourth game when having established a 10-3 lead, he lost the next four points. He called"Time Out", took a deep breath, returned and finished matters. For Zhendong, the top seed in Doha, the scintillating form of Denmark's Jonathan Groth was not enough to stop his progress as he fashioned a 1-4 (9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-3, 14-12) defeat of the 25-year-old Danish en route his last-four clash against his compatriot Xin, the No.4 seed, who was equally responsible for the exit of his colleague Zhou Yu (11-5, 10-12, 11-5, 13-11, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8). Exercising exquisite hand skills that enabled delicate short play, Groth captured the opening game by the minimal two point margin, after having led 10-7. Zhendong recovered to win the second game but, as in the first, the Dane established a 10-7 advantage in the third. Zhendong raised the level, he won four points in a row. Groth did not wilt he narrowed the deficit in the fifth game to one point at 6-7 forcing Wang Hao, the Chinese national team coach on duty, to call"Time Out". Taking risks, producing stunning top spin strokes, the Dane levelled and then went ahead 10-8; but he was not able to take full advantage. "It was a very interesting match and highly intense but I'm happy that I won in the end. I made too many mistakes in the first game. I have never played Groth before; he has his very own style, it took time to adapt,"Zhendong said after the match.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Mar 11, 2018
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