Date of birth: 17/07/2002
Rubber: Target Pro GT H47
Blade: Hinotec Off-
Champion of France Juniors
Third place at the France Seniors Championships
Champion of France Juniors in doubles
Vice-Champion of France Juniors in doubles
Vice-Champion of France cadets in doubles
Champion of France Benjamines in double
Vice-Champion of France, Benjamines singles
The “Cornilleau Team” Interview
How did you get into ping ?
I started at 6 years of age. My mother played regionally and she took me to the hall in Hochfelden in Alsace, where I grew up. I got a taste for it there and signed up. Initially, I played twice a week. Jérôme Richert, who notably supported Can Akkuzu, was my first coach. He was in charge of one out of two training sessions in the club where I played.
You quickly became a table tennis enthusiast then ?
At the start, the training sessions weren’t really my thing. I found that we didn’t play enough ping for my liking and did too many exercises and little games. I almost tried another sport, but my mother convinced me to persevere with ping, telling me that I needed to choose one sport. I opted for table tennis.
And then what path did your career take ?
I was in the regional groupings and at the Pôle Espoir cluster for young hopefuls in Alsace where I hooked up with Jérôme Richert and Benjamin Genin, who also have a contract with Cornilleau right now, who very quickly became my reference, trainer and coach. They supported and guided me in my career and continue to do so today. At that point, the pace was more intense with one or two training sessions a day. I then went on to play at Schiltigheim and today I’m at Saint-Denis.
Can you highlight a key moment in your career ?
I can recall one event that will remain engraved on my memory for a long time to come and that’s my bronze doubles medal at the junior world championships in 2019. It was striking as it was the first world medal for the French juniors, added to which we beat some very good players, especially in the quarter finals where we survived five match points against the Chinese.
What type of player are you ?
I have a good physique which I rely on a lot. I try to make every one of my balls high quality. I like to start an exchange gently with a lot of spin, then it really kicks off.
Do you have a special shot ?
Starting off with backhand as a first ball with a lot of spin. It often enables me to get exchanges started.
How did you join Team Cornilleau ?
I joined Cornilleau in October 2018. My little sister, Charlotte, has been sponsored by Cornilleau from a very early age. She was very happy about it and as Jérôme Richert is also close to the brand, it all happened fairly naturally. In fact, it’s safe to say that we have a kind of family grouping going on at Cornilleau. In terms of kit, I enjoyed being able to test various combinations and I notably trialled three woods before coming to a decision.
On a personal level, what has table tennis brought you ?
To play ping, I left the family home at 13. That enabled me to swiftly gain my independence. It also helped me to channel my energy. When I was young, I was very active, moving in every direction. Ping has had an impact on my personality, making me more level-headed and helping me to be more focused, as well as having a degree of rigour in my life. I’ve also done a lot of travelling thanks to ping and I’ve seen countries that few people my age have had the chance to visit: China, Russia, Thailand, Portugal and also Japan, which I particularly enjoyed.
Do you have any interests outside table tennis ?
I’m very focused on ping at the moment. I’m also trying to put some serious effort into my studies as I’m in my final year and I want to continue studying afterwards. As such, I don’t have much freetime. However, I like having fun, spending time with family and friends. I also really like watching series when I get the chance.
What do you think you’ll do once your career as a pro player is over ?
I’m not putting any particular pressure on my shoulders at this stage, but the engineering profession appeals to me and civil engineering in particular. It’s in this sector that I’m keen to continue my studies after A’ levels, in conjunction with my career as a top-level athlete.