by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Notably in the opening match of China’s campaign in the Boys’ Team event at the 2017 World Junior Championships, he was the player sent out first in their contest against India.
Furthermore, he duly delivered the goods; he accounted for Manav Vikash Thakkar, the player who heads the ITTF World Junior Circuit Standings, in three straight games (11-8, 11-8, 11-8).
“I was weaker with defenders back then as I didn’t have a good understanding of the spin of the ball, so many mistakes were made because of the misjudgement of the spin. Over the past three years, I think I have a better understanding of the spin, more training against defender and also I am now physical stronger so I have more power.” Xue Fei
More power; that fact was evident against Manav Vikash Thakkar and it was evident in both Linz and Magdeburg earlier this year; at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour tournaments staged in those cities, he won the Under 21 Men’s Singles event.
“Winning two World Tour Under 21 titles this year has been a boost to my confidence playing internationally and coming into this tournament. Today was our first match, I was the first to play, I tried to play faster than my opponent and set ab example for my team mates.” Xue Fei
The example was set, Wang Chuqin doubles the lead by beating Manush Utphabhai Shah (12-10, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7), before Xu Haidong, another pen-hold grip player, accounted for Jeet Chandra to conclude matters (11-8, 12-10, 11-5).