Alexis Lebrun created a sensation this Friday during the Macao tournament by bringing down the Chinese Fan Zhendong, world number 1. The 19-year-old Frenchman crowned French champion last month at the expense of his little brother Félix won 11-9 in the 5th set.
The new phenomenon of table tennis in France has struck again. Less than a month after retaining his national title and being crowned French champion for the second year in a row, Alexis Lebrun (19) offered himself the greatest victory of his young career, this Friday during the Macao tournament . The Montpellier player created a sensation by offering himself the Chinese Fan Zhendong, who is none other than the world number 1. Facing the big favorite of the competition, the eldest of the Lebrun siblings won in five sets (11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9).
The outgoing double French champion set the tone for entry by leaving only seven points in the first run to Zhendong. The silver medalist of the Tokyo Games, where he had suffered the law of his compatriot Ma Long, already crowned in Rio five years earlier, immediately replied and equalized at one set everywhere, before being knocked out again by the French, who took the lead in this part by clearly winning the third set. The feat was already looming for the one who will certainly constitute a serious chance of a gold medal at the Paris 2024 Games. But that was without counting on the reaction of the world number 1.
Lebrun: “It’s crazy! »
Annoyed at having taken 11-5, the Chinese came back up to our young representative by winning in turn with the score of 11 points to 5 in the fourth set. The counters were then reset to zero. And Alexis Lebrun obviously still as determined to cause a small earthquake in Macau. He achieved this by winning 11-9 this last decisive set. Qualified for the semi-finals, the hero of the day will have to achieve another feat precisely against this Ma Long, 4th in the world rankings and who two years ago became the first table tennis player in history to retain his Olympic title.
In view of his performance on Friday, the Héraultais can legitimately think that he is capable of crunching Ma Long as he made Fan Zhendong bite the dust. Even if for the moment, it is especially difficult to achieve. ” It’s a crazy thing ! I don’t realize too much. I tried to vary as much as possible and set up my power game and it worked really well. I had a level of service that I rarely had”, savored Lebrun on the website of the French Table Tennis Federation. Waiting maybe for another feat.