by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor (Interviews by Francesca Bullock)
He beat Asaf Gofer in the decisive third match, the second game being 19-17 in his favour, after having won the doubles in partnership with David Wetherill. After the doubles success David Wetherill had lost to Danny Bobrov.
Most pertinently for the hero of the hour, it was his 32nd birthday
“The second game was really intense. It was crucial in the match because I think it broke his confidence a little bit. I think I knew after that I had a great chance to go on and win. Not that is wasn’t difficult because he still had some resilience in the third game but it made it a little bit easier which I’m very thankful for. It’s a very nice way to celebrate my birthday. I couldn’t ask for more.”
“I’ve always struggled against Bobrov for some reason. I haven’t played him that many times and today I was trying to find my reserves and I tried my hardest. I had every confidence in Paul in the third match and it is really good that either Paul or Martin or any of us can win if the other one loses a match. Thankfully we managed to get the two-one victory and we are confident for tomorrow now. Paul and me have been playing really well in the doubles all week and I think I let him down a little bit today. We didn’t play as well as we have been but Paul’s given himself a birthday present today and I’m really pleased.” David Wetherill
“Watching Paul’s second game I am just glad that I don’t have my hair any more because it would have been gone; that was such a tense game and I can only praise these guys’ performance. It was such an electric bench, the energy on the bench was just feeding off these guys on the table. They were putting so much into it, I felt I was in the match. We’ve got the final to look forward to tomorrow and I think with these two guys we’ve got a fantastic opportunity.” Martin Perry
In the final the Croatian combination of Pavao Jozic and Vjekoslav Gregorovic awaits; in the corresponding semi-final, they recorded a two-nil win against Russia’s Alexander Esaulov and Timur Khusmullin.
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