Apart from qualifying from the group which had Germany and Australia, the Brazilian boys showed their class against the very best in Tokyo.
Even when they were set up against Germany in the group opener on Wednesday, November 6, it was to be a close match as the European champions narrowly escaped in the tie. The pair of Jouti and Tsuboi nearly scuttled the Germans in the doubles match against the duo of Timo Boll and Patrick Franziska. The German machines were stretched to full game by the young Brazilian team, and yet the Germans prevailed at 3-2 (13-15, 12-14, 11-8, 11-7, 11-2).
The tie between Vitor Ishiy and Dimitrij Ovtcharov produced fireworks, with the German again prevailing 3-1 (9-11, 12-10, 14-12, 11-8) to stretch the lead to 2-0. The third tie between Franziska and Jouti again showed the quality of the 23-year-old Brazilian who fought from start to the end. But the German Franziska knew the importance of the tie and he put the match beyond Jouti by winning 3-2 (12-10, 7-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-9).
The Brazilians were not still threatened in their quest to book a place in the quarter-finals as they overcame Team Australia 3-0 to confirm their spot among the top eight. Their good run was however halted by Korea Republic in the quarter-final as they were beaten 3-1. But they did not lose to the Koreans without a fight as Eric Jouti – ranked 85 in the world – humbled 18th ranked Korean star Lee Sangsu 3-1 (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8) to again show his class.
A satisfied Eric Jouti believes his performance in the competition has given him hope that he can compete against the best. If there is anything that the 23-year-old took away from Tokyo, it was his new-found confidence having played and conquered some top players across the World Cup.
“I think I played really good in this competition especially against players that are higher than me in ranking. I was not under any pressure playing against them. I feel good and I think against Germany we had the chance to win but after losing the doubles, this really affected us. But against Korea, it was a bit difficult because they are very strong. I really prepared well for this tournament and I forced myself to give my best.” Eric Jouti
Furthermore, after overcoming the top ranked Korean star, Eric Jouti was vocal about the major impact it has had on him:
“Beating Lee Sangsu was a big win for me because he is rated higher than me and I was really excited with the way I played against him. We have again showed the world that we can compete against the best even with or without Hugo Calderano. Although, Calderano’s presence would have made a lot of different but we showed that without him, Brazil is still a strong team.” Eric Jouti
Like Eric Jouti, compatriot Vitor Ishiy believes their outing in Tokyo has confirmed Brazil as contender in global tournament:
“It was a good performance from us in this tournament and I am so happy that we showed our quality against the best teams in the world. Even in the absence of Calderano, we helped one another and this really showed in our performance. Calderano would have made a lot of difference in the team but we performed very particularly making it to the quarterfinal of the team World Cup was a big feat for us.” Vitor Ishiy