Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Sorin Petroj
Hugo Calderano is a Brazilian professional table tennis player. He was born on June 22, 1996, in Rio de Janeiro. His exemplary efforts have put Brazil on top of the table tennis map. He is one of the youngest and best table tennis players in American history.
Hugo is the first-ever player from Latin America to reach the top 10 of the ITTF World Ranking.
His skills are top-notch, and his techniques are unique. We will get to see his playing style and his equipment later on in the article.
The article will also highlight his early life story, achievements, current and topmost table tennis rank, and net worth. Be keen to follow till the end to get some insight into Hugo’s professional table tennis life.
Hugo’s Player Profile
- Full name: Hugo Marinho Borges Calderano
- Nickname: Hugo Calderano
- Age: 26 years
- Place of Birth: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
- Current ITTF ranking: 7th place
- Highest ITTF ranking: 3rd place
- Playing style: Righthanded, shakehand grip
- Height: 182 cm
- Weight: 74 kg
- Team: Table Tennis Club – TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen
- Equipment: Blade: Hugo Calderano FOCO off+
- Rubbers: Cornilleau Target Pro GT X51 and Target Pro GT H47
Hugo Calderano, table tennis player (early life)
Hugo was a brilliant kid when he was younger. At the age of 4 years, he taught himself how to read and write. His parents constantly challenged him to do mental calculations, and he could get all of them right after thinking of the answer for a short time.
From 10 to 12 years old, he participated in regular volleyball and track and field competitions. We can tell that his sports personality has been active since his younger days. His efforts caused him to get drafted to the state team.
Hugo Calderano started playing table tennis when he was 8 years old. He later left his hometown and lived in Sao Caetano do Sul to be in a better position to practice with the Brazilian National Team.
Hugo Calderano worked with the team for a long period. He was able to gain a lot from the team and his fellow teammates.
He later announced that he was leaving the German Bundesliga and going to the Russian Champions League to focus more on international competitions. This was in 2021.
Hugo Calderano is the youngest-ever Pan American Games Men’s Singles winner. He also became the youngest-ever player to win the ITTF World Tour. Also, he was the first player to win a singles title on the ITTF Junior Circuit and the ITTF World Tour in the same year in 2013.
In 2014, he made history by winning a bronze medal at the Youth Olympic Games in China. It was the first medal for Brazil in a table tennis Olympic competition.
He has won the Latin American Championship thrice and the Pan American Championship twice.
In January 2022, Hugo was number 3 in the world rankings, becoming the greatest American player of all time.
Hugo Calderano was also the first-ever player from Latin America to reach the top 10 of the ITTF World Ranking. This is one of his greatest achievements because he has become the pacesetter for other Latin American players.
In the 2018 ITTF World Tour Grand Final competitions in Incheon, South Korea, he managed to beat Fan Zhendong, one of the best Chinese table tennis players, during the quarter-finals. Amid all that, he remains optimistic that he can become a much better player than the Chinese players.
Hugo Calderano Olympic Medals (2020)
Hugo qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the age of 21. He was the youngest player then and was named the best non-Asian in the world, ranking fourth place.
He defeated a South Korean table tennis player, Jang Woojin, and became the first Brazilian and Latin American to reach the quarter-finals of table tennis in the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, his journey to success was shunned when he lost to Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
Even though Hugo has not won any Olympic medals so far, his future is bright. We can see his great potential for winning and his determination through the milestones he’s been able to hit in the previous Olympic competitions in which he made an appearance.
With this kind of effort, he will be able to harvest a lot of success soon.
He, however, has won many medals from other competitions besides the Olympics, like the Pan American Cup, Pan American Games and Championships, Latin American Cup and Championships, and ITTF Challenge, among others.
Hugo also competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Hugo Calderano’s Playing Style
He uses the Right-hand grip shakehand style of play. Hugo is one aggressive player! He attacks most of the time, and his techniques and skills are similar to Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
Hugo Calderano plays at close distances at the table. His backhand is more powerful than his forehand, which forms the perfect attacking weapon.
He likes using the High Toss Pendulum serve. You throw the ball high to get the ball to be moving faster when it hits your racket. Then you execute the Pendulum serve as you usually would by brushing the side of the ball.
One of the difficult parts initially is throwing the ball straight, so it comes down in an excellent position to make the services from.
Hugo uses a lot of backhand flicks and topspin counter-attacks. He maintains a parallel posture while playing. This posture is mainly used by players who are specialized in backhand play.
Hugo Calderano Net Worth
His net worth is estimated to be around $1.6 million. His basic salary is approximately $ 400,000.
Hugo Calderano Family
Hugo’s father’s name is Marcos Marinho Calderano, and his mother’s name is Elisa Borges.
Hugo calderano Ranking
His highest ranking is 3rd place according to ITTF ranking as of 1st February 2022.
He currently ranks 7th place as of 8th November 2022.
Hugo Training and Club
Hugo Calderano has been training with the TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen club. He left the club in 2021 to focus more on his career and international competitions.
However, before leaving the club, he had purposed first to win a new title in the table tennis competitions. Some of his teammates are Liam Pitchford, Simon Gauzy, and Jakub Dyjas.
Hugo Calderano Equipment
2019 – 2020 Equipment History
In this section, we will see some of Hugo’s equipment that he used when he started playing table tennis. Some people claim that he has been using Xiom equipment for a while since August 2019. Here is the equipment that he has been using from 2019 to 2020:
- Blade – Hugo Calderano Foco off+
- Rubbers Forehand – Cornilleau Target Pro GT X51
- Rubbers Backhand – Cornilleau Target Pro GT H47
Hugo Calderano Foco off+
It is a custom-made blade with extra stiff plywood in the middle. This feature gives a player more rigidity which would help during the plays.
It is a custom blade because it was designed explicitly for Hugo. All his gaming needs have been addressed with this particular blade.
2022 Equipment History
- Blade – Cornilleau Gatien Origin Off
Cornilleau Gatien Origin is his current blade. This table tennis blade is a much faster and harder version of the Cornilleau blade series.
It also differs from the original blade by having a much brighter colored centerwood. The racket also has a dark black center material. Cornilleau manufacturers have confirmed that “the darker inner ply” is the custom blade with harder and faster wood ply.
It is important to note that Hugo Calderano is a Cornilleau-sponsored player. That is why he often uses Cornilleau products.
Cornilleau Gatien Origin is also part of the Jean-Philippe Gatien blade series. The series is named after former world table tennis champion Jean-Philippe Gatien.
The blade and other ping pong rubbers form a tough racket for an advanced player like Hugo. It contains hard Wenge material on the outer surface that reacts to the ball.
There are also two sheets of balsa wood whereby the other one surrounds the three birch used to center to enhance the racket’s ability to move quickly and easily.
- Rubbers Forehand – Cornilleau Target Pro GT X51
- Rubbers Backhand – Cornilleau Target Pro GT H47
Hugo Calderano’s other rubbers
It is not entirely clear the specific rubber that Hugo currently uses. Some players say it is Tenergy 05, while others say it is still the Cornilleau Target pro-GT Series.
He could have several rubber preferences, which is very okay. Many professional players often change their equipment to see what best suits them. The Cornilleau target rubbers have medium hardness and excellent spin and speed.
Cornilleau Target Pro GT X51
GT X51 is a softer rubber than GT H47. Target Pro GT-X51 is one of the four latest rubbers in the Target Pro series by Cornilleau. It has been developed with one of the best technologies in the table tennis world-Michelin Technology. This gives the rubber its high elasticity and unique pimple structure. The rubber has a sponge hardness of 51°.
The grippy top sheet enables you to transmit even greater spin in every game phase through increased elasticity and an impressive level of grip. The unique formulation and cell structure enable the Nextens sponge to interact more efficiently with the pimples below the surface in contact with the ball.
The sponge has GT (Great Tension) evolution that provides additional strength and transmits more significant rotation onto the ball. This range of rubbers made in Germany results from a research and development program involving Cornilleau experts, Michelin engineers, and the world’s largest manufacturer of coverings.
Cornilleau has been manufacturing top-quality rubbers with a built-in speed glue effect for some years. The Target Pro GT rubber series is the result of the cooperation between the German rubber specialist ESN and Michelin Technology. All rubbers of this series provide great spin and speed and a good catapult effect.
This rubber is the right choice for offensive players looking for a modern speed glue rubber to play a spin-intensive attacking game. The rubbers of this series primarily differ in their sponge types. The Target Pro GT X51 is rubber for top-level players. The rubber has a sponge hardness of 51°, which provides a good technique and allows for maximum speed and spin.
However, Target Pro GT X51 rubber is not as forgiving as other softer rubbers of this series. Players who have relied on rubbers from other German brands and who prefer a hard rubber of the latest generation should check this rubber out.
Cornilleau Target Pro GT H47
If, like Simon Gauzy, you’re looking to start your game full of spin, with the maximum precision in counter topspin, incisive put-away shots, ever more power and topspin curve over the top, as well as safety in terms of a counter initiative, Target Pro GT-H47 would be the ideal rubber for you.
This rubber is the right choice for offensive players looking for a modern speed glue rubber for a spin-intensive attacking game. The Target Pro GT H47 has a sponge hardness of 47.5°. However, the sponge feels much softer during the game thanks to the integrated speed glue technology. The rubber is fast and generates a lot of rotation.
Players playing with rubbers made by German manufacturers should consider this rubber. Cornilleau’s Target Pro GT H47 is definitely at par with other brands.
From the information above, we can tell that Hugo Calderano is a highly skilled table tennis player, and he might be one of the best players in the future if he doubles his efforts.
Hugo says that his role model is Harimoto Tomokazu, who he has also managed to defeat in the Qatar 2018 World Tour Grand Finals using his unique serving style. On the ITTF world rankings, he is currently in 7th place with 2930 points.
On WTT star contender Doha, Hugo Calderano is the champion in men’s singles. If he continues to make such great results, we think Hugo can beat the best Chinese players in the future.
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