Date of birth: 09/09/1992


Rubber: Target Pro GT X51
Blade: Hinotec Off



Finalist of the team in Finland associated with OUAICHE


French double junior champion


Vice champion of France double cadets
Bronze medal European team cadet championships

Bronze medal European team cadet championships
2005 French Minimal Champion

The “Cornilleau Team” Interview

How did you get into ping?

I fell into it when I was young. Both my parents played table tennis; my father ranking 30th and my mother 25th. My older brother had some time at the top level and then became a coach. In fact, it was when going to see my brother at the hall at just 4 years of age that I discovered ping. A year later, I signed up for the same club as him. I played both football and table tennis for two years, but ultimately I opted for ping as I quickly enjoyed good results.

Have you won a lot of titles in the youth categories?

At 10 years of age, I won my first national title, then I came second the following year in the juniors. Next, I joined the Pôle France training cluster in Talence and then, in a bid to really turn a corner with my game, I left the family cocoon to devote myself fully to ping.

Your career is rather atypical, can you describe it for us?

To start with, it was pretty classical, until I went to the Pôle France. At 14, far away from your next of kin, not seeing many people, you begin to mull things over. I felt as if I needed to see other things, I wasn’t enjoying the isolation either, even though things were going well in sporting terms. At that point, I decided to return to Nîmes with my brother and get back to a lifestyle that better suited me: I returned to school and kept up the training. I made headway with my studies, I matured and I took my diploma to be a coach, because I still wanted to stay in the ping world. Having bagged my diploma, I realised that competition was the only thing that gave me the thrill I craved. With that, I kickstarted my career as a player again, at 21 years of age in the third division. And that’s where my playing career powered back up.

Do you need a lot of mental strength to want to get back to the top level after such a break?

It wasn’t really a break as I continued playing and I remained in the domain of ping, even though it wasn’t as a pro. It was a necessary period in my life, which gave me a chance to mature and really find out what I want.

Can you name a key moment in your career?

I would say my early days in a team with Nîmes. Our rise to pro status was refused and we remained at national 1 for 2 years. It was important to dig deep there too. Therefore, it was a little later down the line, in Villeneuve in the Lot, that I started playing as a pro.

How did you join Team Cornilleau?

I joined the team in October 2019 via the club in Amiens, which is sponsored by Cornilleau. I was quickly able to exchange ideas about equipment with the brand’s experts and found the wood / rubber combination that suited my game. I already knew the members of the team who I trained with in Metz, Damien Llorca and Dorian Nicolle, who I get on very well with.

JEAN Gregoire championnat france 2020

What type of player are you?

I love being close to the table and I’m at ease at the mid-distance mark. I like to take the initiative and I think my strength lies in my ability to vary my game. People also say that I have a good left hand.

What’s your favourite shot?

The service, without a shadow of a doubt. I was 16 years of age when I saw an interview with Christophe Legoût where he said that the service was “the only shot that didn’t depend on the adversary”. That really struck a chord and I’ve always paid particular attention to working on this shot. There’s a whole psychological game around the service with regards both your rival and yourself, which I find very intriguing.

On a personal level, what has ping given you?

Ping has given me a massive amount in terms of encounters as well as voyages. I’ve had a chance to see countries, which have really meant something to me, countries like the Philippines, Brazil and Nigeria for example. Above all though, ping has shaped my mentality. It’s a sport where stress management is key and that requires real mental strength. I think that’s true in a fair few sports, but the fact that you train every day, sometimes 6 hours a day, forces you to really find out what you want and what you’re prepared to do to get there. As such, I have a healthy life thanks to table tennis.

What do you think you’ll do after your career as a player?

I’ll stay in the domain of ping, that’s for sure. It’s in my blood. What role I have remains to be seen.