by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
He is the third highest rated player behind Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chien-An and Korea’s Jeoung Youngsik.
On the afternoon of Tuesday 6th March, the campaign started and it started in style. He beat Jeoung Youngsik, winner in the GAG Group 2015 ITTF World Tour in both Australia and Korea, in four straight games (11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 13-11).
“I think I’m the most confident I have ever been in my life. I have a good feeling, physically I feel good and mentally I feel good. I want to prove to myself that I can play against good players and beat them. I have a really tough draw but for me it’s a big chance; all I can do is give my best. I made a good start, I won four-nil. Throughout recent weeks I feel I have been thinking clearly, making good decisions and importantly being able to anticipate.” Alexandre Robinot
The only moment of doubt came in the fourth game when he saw the winning post. He led 10-8; then lost the next two points, before eventually succeeding.
“Today one of the major difference was that he had problems returning my service; I was able to take the initiative and keep him under pressure. At 10-8 in the fourth game I think I just wanted to win too quickly but he never had a game point.” Alexandre Robinot.
Success for France but as play commenced in the Men’s Singles qualification tournament, there was also defeat. Romain Lorentz was beaten by Egypt’s Mohamed El-Beiali (11-5, 11.2, 11-4, 14-12); Andrea Landrieu lost to Russia’s Kirill Skachkov.