Alexander Xue, the pen-hold grip is his preference
Photo By: Richard Xue
American National Junior Disability champion, Alexander Xue, is in search of gold at the Mike Dempsey Memorial Tournament which starts in San Diego on Thursday 29th November 2012.
On Monday 26th November, he was present at the Training Camp and he caught the eye; not only because the 13 year old was the equal of his elder adversaries but because of his style of play.
Alexander Xue from New Jersey on the east coast of the United States plays in the style of Wang Hao; pen-hold grip, he uses both sides of the racket to execute top spin play. He does not have the power or the incredible consistency of Wang Hao but in winning titles and medals, he is a match for the Chinese superstar!
Three Times the Champion
He has won the American National Junior Disability Table Tennis Championships on no less than three consecutive occasions, winning first in 2009 when only ten year old.
Furthermore, the term “junior” in the tournament is not Under 18 years of age as in the more conventional description; it is Under 21 years of age.
Incredibly, Alexander Xue beat players twice his age to clinch gold!
Sets the Standard
Also in National Disability events he has set records in 50 metre freestyle swimming, archer and shooting!
It is an amazing achievement for the young man, who when he was seven months old, was seriously ill, the effect being the amputation of his left leg.
At the Mike Dempsey Memorial Tournament, he will play in the Men’s Class 8 events.
Prefers Table Tennis
“It’s always been the same for me”, said Alexander Xue who started to play tennis when he was seven years old before at the age of nine, turning his attentions to table tennis.
“The movement is not so great in table tennis, in tennis you have to move much further, so table tennis is a better sport for me”, explained Alexander Xue. “I really didn’t know about Wang Hao; I tried the shake-hands grip but I prefer the pen-hold grip and it’s only recently I have started using the backhand top spin.”
Watching him practise, he was very effective executing the stroke.
Tables at Home
“We have two table tennis tables at home”, interjected Richard Xue, his father. “He has two coaches who help him, Shao Peizhen and Gao Yanjun; also he plays at the Community Centre in Flushing.”
A very quiet young man and extremely modest about his remarkable achievements, Alexander Xue has a twin brother, Chris, who is able bodied and is very much a challenge for his sibling.
Alexander is determined not to be outshone. It is Alexander who shines and he shines when playing table tennis but is well aware there are areas for improvement.
“I think my forehand is my strength, I need to improve changing from backhand to forehand”, he explained. “My aim is to have a top 2,000 rating in the United States.”
Now that’s a tough goal; the three times Men’s Singles World champion, China’s Wang Liqin, is rated at 2,900; so 2,000 puts a player somewhere in the top 200 players.
A bronze medallist in the Men’s Team Class 7-9 Team event at the United States Open in 2011 in Milwaukee, Alexander Xue may well achieve his goal.
“In that event I had good partners”, smiled Alexander Xue. “I think locally I’ve maybe won about ten events.”
I am sure he has won more, he is extremely modest and in San Diego, the young man is a player to note; he has the temperament, cool calm and collected.
A Possible Double
Can the double be achieved?
Success for Alexander Xue at the Mike Dempsey Memorial Tournament in San Diego and one week later success for Wang Hao at the GAC GPROUP 2021 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Hangzhou, the city where Richard Xue studied.
It may well happen, short odds.