What is Hugo Calderano’s equipment?

What is Hugo Calderano’s equipment?

Hugo Calderano is a professional table tennis player from Brazil. He is born on June 22, 1996, in Rio de Janeiro. He competes for Brazil at the 2016 Summer Olympics.  At 20 years old, he is one of the youngest competitors at this level (World Ranking 15). He has also won the Men’s Singles competition for the 2017 ITTF Pan America Championships. Recently, Hugo Calderano has made a huge show off at the ITTF Qatar Open 2018.

Hugo Calderano the “new generation” in table tennis

In this Qatar 2018, so far he has beaten:

  • BOLL Timo (seed #2 / WR 1) – 4/1
  • HARIMOTO Tomokazu (seed #8 / WR 12) – 4/0
  • Lin Gaoyuan (seed #3 / WR 4) – 4/0

Hugo has won Lin Gaoyuan (Chinese superstar and number three seed) 4-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-3, 11-6).

“I am very happy that I could beat such a high-level player 4-0, I would never have thought that this would have happened. It is a great feeling to be from Brazil, non-traditional table tennis country and to be surprising top Chinese players at the highest level. I am very proud!”, Hugo said

CALDERANO Hugo the rising star of Brazil
CALDERANO Hugo the rising star of Brazil

Hugo also defeated world ranking number one Timo BOLL 4-1 in the round of 16 and then Tomozako HARIMOTO 4-0 in the quarterfinals. It’s not the first time that Hugo won Timo Boll. He has already won Timo Boll in German League.

Hugo has dominated the new Japanese star Harimoto 4-0
Hugo has dominated the new Japanese star Harimoto 4-0

“It was really important to make a good start; the fact I went three-nil ahead was vital. I was aggressive from the start but I knew he would adapt and increase his level of play. He became more positive. At the end of the fifth game I tried to focus on each point and not on the score but of course, I knew they were important points.” Hugo Calderano

Hugo is really content to beat Timo Boll
Hugo is really content to beat Timo Boll

Hugo Calderano playing style

Hugo’s playing style is very aggressive. He stays rather close to the table, and initially attack with his “special backhand”.

His playing style is rather similar to Dimitri Ovtcharov. He uses a lot of backhand flick, and backhand topspin counter-attack. His standing position is parallel, which is used by a backhand favorite player.

Hugo’s strength:

  • Hugo served very well. He used a very high toss serve. His serve is rather tricky (with the same motion, he can produce “no spin serve”, and heavy underspin serve”. At Qatar Open 2018, Lin Gaoyuan can’t read well his serve to the forehand side. It’s not easy to flick the high toss serve of Hugo.
  • And Lin Gaoyuan has fallen into the “trap” of Hugo. Fast backhand attack and counter attack! Once in the rally, Hugo has a huge advantage with his “gifted” backhand.
  • Hugo can attack “down-to-the-line” with his backhand. This type of attack is not easy. And he has surprised many players (Lin Gaoyuan, Harimoto Tomokazu).
Hugo's backhand flick to answer the serve: His weapon
Hugo’s backhand flick to answer the serve: His weapon

Hugo’s weakness:

  • To counter this quick backhand style, you need to change the placement. If Lin Gaoyuan has varied the spin, and the placement, it will be different. Playing against the powerful, high-risk shots player like Hugo, you need to be patient, use more soft-balls, and short ball to the middle. This can help you slow down the game.

Hugo Calderano is the youngest ever Pan American Games Men’s Singles winner.

  • In the final match between Hugo and Fan Zhendong, he almost wins the first 2 sets. Hugo’s counter-attack is so powerful, at the same level of top Chinese players. Lin Gaoyuan has failed into the trap of Hugo, but this time, Fan Zhendong has to beware of that.
  • Hugo lacks a little bit of experience at the crucial moments. Fan Zhendong plays a lot of soft-balls, and heavy underspin ball to the middle in the 3rd and 4th set. Each time Fan Zhendong attacks, he aimed at the elbow (near the middle) of Hugo. This cost him the match 0-4.
  • If Hugo variates his style at the end of set 1, and 2. One short push, and one backhand flick. “Be more patient”, he could win the first 2 sets.
  • Fan Zhendong has adapted very well, in the last set, Hugo can do nothing versus Fan Zhendong. Hugo has such a crazy fast backhand counter attack. But Chinese Team has learned a lot after the game of Hugo vs Lin Gaoyuan.
Hugo's weakness: His forehand side and experiences at the crucial moment
Hugo’s weakness: His forehand side and experiences at the crucial moment

Hugo Calderano personal equipment

Based on the discussion in “Table Tennis Connect” group and with the confirmation from team Cornilleau, Hugo Calderano is using:

Hugo's current equipment at Qatar Open 2018
Hugo’s current equipment at Qatar Open 2018

On some pro’s equipment website, they cited as “Hugo is using:”

  • Cornilleau Gatien Conquest Off Blade,
  • Forehand rubber: Cornilleau Target Pro GT-H47
  • Backhand rubber: Cornilleau Target Pro GT X51

But be careful about this information, because it’s provided by the sponsor. In fact, Hugo is sponsored by Cornilleau (France). He is on the same team with Simon Gauzy. On mytabletennis forum, some players have confirmed that Hugo didn’t play with Cornilleau Target rubber.

Hugo is using Conquest OFF blade (Or at least the handle). But not the Cornilleau rubber
Hugo is using Conquest OFF blade (Or at least the handle). But not the Cornilleau rubber

It’s well-known that many top players used a custom blade with a different handle. They use the “handle” provided by the Sponsor Manufacturer as they signed the contract with the company. For example, Fan Zhendong is using “Viscaria blade” with Stiga handle (because he is sponsored by Stiga).

Let’s look at the center ply of the personal blade of Hugo:

Hugo's current equipment at Qatar Open 2018
Hugo’s current equipment at Qatar Open 2018

You can clearly see that, the center ply is like the “Brown-Dark wenge wood”. It’s not the Cornilleau Gatien Conquest, because the center ply is not the same.

Gatien Conquest Off Blade
Gatien Conquest Off Blade
Gatien Conquest Off Wood Composition
Gatien Conquest Off Wood Composition

Meanwhile, the center ply of Gatien Absolum is rather “light red”.

Gatien Absolum Off plus
Gatien Absolum Off plus
Cornilleau Absolum Off+: Red center ply
Cornilleau Absolum Off+: Red center ply
Gatien Absolum blade: Red center ply
Gatien Absolum blade: Red center ply

The current setup of Hugo Calderano

The Cornilleau blade has much brighter color center wood. Look at this Gatien Origin.

Cornilleau Gatien Origin Off Table Tennis Blade
Cornilleau Gatien Origin Off Table Tennis Blade

Here is another photo, which shows the wood composition of Hugo’s blade. The blade doesn’t have the “light red” color like Cornilleau Absolum Off+. The color is darker, black color). Hugo Carderano Player’s racket the center material is black, which seems to be different from the most similar is Gatien Absolum.

Hugo Carderano Player’s racket: The center ply is not Gatien Absolum

It seems that the blade of Hugo has the same composition of the custom handmade OSP Palatinus Ultimate blade. Cornilleau Team has confirmed that “the Darker Inner Ply” is the custom Cornilleau blade, with harder, and faster wood ply.

OSP Ultimate table tennis blade
OSP Ultimate table tennis blade

You can also observe that the professional player would change the handle. There is on the market, a blade called as “HUGO CALDERANO FOCO OFF+” with the blue handle. So Hugo will use the blue handle of Hugo Foco, but the blade inside is not the same.

HUGO CALDERANO FOCO OFF+ is not the blade used by Hugo! Hugo is using the custom blade provided by Cornilleau.

Personal equipment of Hugo Calderano
Personal equipment of Hugo Calderano

For the rubber, some players say that Hugo is using the Tenergy 05 instead of Target Pro GT. But with the white sponge, it seems that Hugo is using Target Pro GT rubber (or Joola Rhyzm similar rubber).

Note: Professional can try and change often their equipment. For amateur player, it’s much more important to focus on “how to develop your technique”, than “what is the equipment that pro plays”.

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10 thoughts on “What is Hugo Calderano’s equipment?”

  1. he is apparently NOT using tenergy rubbers. tenergy has orange/red sponge, while he has clearly white on both sides. white sponge have Target Pro 51 and Rakza. So I would say he IS using Target rubbers.

  2. You are right, Roman. Cornilleau Target Pro GT X51 or Target Ultim 50 has white sponge. Hardness about 50 Euro hardness. Thank you, I’ve corrected the article.

  3. The end of the handle does not look like that of a Gatien or the OSP Palatinus Ultimate in the picture just above the OSP Palatinus Ultimate where the caption talks about the center ply.

  4. It’s the handle tag. They can change, or remove the tag. The most important is the inner composition of the blade.

  5. Dear Ping Sunday,
    We appreciate the interest you have about Hugo Calderano and his equipment but we are really sorry to read some false information and regret that you spread theses without clearly verified them.
    Hugo adopted Target Pro GT rubbers for a long time now, you can see it if you watch closely his matches or pictures. For the blade Hugo is trying a custom blade with an extra stiff plywood in the middle of his Hugo Calderano FOCO OFF+ for more rigidity to fit closer to his special game. Notice that this custom blade wouldn’t fit to any player instead of the regular Hugo Calderano FOCO OFF+. In any case Hugo plays with other brand equipment.
    We would stay at your disposal for more information.

    Best regards

    Cornilleau

  6. Thank you Cornilleau. Due to the lack of information, we are trying to find the correct information.
    We have contacted Hugo, but maybe he is too busy to answer. I will correct the information.

    Bests,
    EmRatThich

  7. good day to you
    if you can see better Ugo play with dhs blade
    what the last mach like qatar
    regards
    brk1

  8. Next Time cornilleau can at least make a commercial blade with similar plywood color than the one used by the official player :-))
    It could enhance its credibility.
    It looks like a Palio way 003 :-))

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