The 91st edition of the French Table Tennis championships brought a lot of joy for many players, like the talented Frenchman Felix Lebrun, who won his first national championships medal – bronze in the mixed doubles event. However, it also did not feature some of the leading players, who would be contenders for the gold medals, such as the experienced Emmanuel Lebesson and Alexandre Cassin.
Since there was no Lebesson, the path to the gold medal in the singles event was a relatively easy task for Simon Gauzy, who is currently ranked 18th in the World Rankings. He never lost more than two sets in a match, overcoming the 26-year old Mehdi Bouloussa in the 1/8 finals 4-2. In the next round, he easily got past the Stephane Ouaiche 4-1 and in the semi-finals stage, his opponent was the rising star, the oldest from Lebrun brothers – Alexis Lebrun.
The talented Lebrun secured himself a bronze medal by winning the Alexandre Robinot (4-2) in the 1/8 finals and Enzo Angles (4-0) in the 1/4 final match. Despite having some chances to take more out of the game against Gauzy, the young Frenchman struggled to cope with a more experienced opponent and lost 2-4. In the 4th set, Lebrun had a 10-4 lead, but he could keep up his lead, and Gauzy won this set 12-10, sending a strong message about his intentions to win it all.
Gauzy’s opponent in the final was the 24-year old Romain Ruiz, who had some truly tough games on his path to the final. In 1/8 finals, Ruiz had a seven-set battle against Antoine Hachard. In the next round, Bastian Rembert also put up a fight, but Ruiz managed to pull out a 4-2 win that secured his place in the 1/2 finals against the experienced 37-year old Damien Provost. French veteran knocked out Can Akkuzu and Leo De Nordost on the way to the 1/2 finals. However, he proved to be a comfortable opponent for Ruiz who got a 4-0 win and booked himself a place in the final.
The final was not really a one to remember in terms of result. Ruiz took one set and won some spectacular points, but Gauzy looked confident and had control over the game. The levels of these players are different, and Gauzy proved his status of favorite, winning his third French National Championships singles title, repeating the success he had the last year in Arnas.
In other events, it is worth mentioning the success of Alexis Lebrun and Esteban Dorr. They won the doubles event, overcoming the higher-ranked Alexandre Robinot and Bastien Rembert in the final match.
2021 FRENCH NATIONAL TABLE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALISTS
Alexis Lebrun & Esteban Dorr
Bastien Rembert & Alexandre Robinot
Vincent Picard & Florian Bourrassaud
Ollivier Brice & Romain Lorentz