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Minster’s Ross Wilson ends 15-match losing streak against world No.1 Viktor Didukh on way to gold at Czech Para Open

Minster table tennis star Ross Wilson ended a 15-match hoodoo on his way to gold in the men's class 8 singles at the Czech Para Open.

Wilson defeated Marc Ledoux in Friday’s Final but his 3-2 Semi-Final win over world champion and current world No.1 Viktor Didukh was arguably the standout performance, with the Ukrainian having won all 15 of their previous matches.

Minster's Ross Wilson in action at the Czech Para Open. Picture: Manca Meglic
Minster's Ross Wilson in action at the Czech Para Open. Picture: Manca Meglic

“I don’t think I played that well at the beginning of the competition,” said Wilson, “but I built into it and got better with each match so I was really happy with how I stuck in there and didn’t dwell on my early mistakes.

“Beating Didukh for the first time was obviously a great result for me - it’s been a long time coming and I’m happy to have won that match.

“But there were plenty of other matches that were difficult as well so I’m really happy with my performance against every player here.

“Winning a gold medal is a really proud feeling - it’s been a tough year with a lot of ups and downs and a lot of hard work put in so I’m really happy and proud of myself.”

After early wins against the improving 21-year-old Alejandro Diaz from Spain (3-1) and then Zeev Glikman, the veteran former world and Paralympic champion from Israel (3-0), Wilson finished top of Group 3 following a 3-0 win against Robert Boroleanu from Romania.

He received a last-16 bye into the quarters, where he beat Borna Zohil from Croatia - a medallist in Italy and Montenegro this year - 3-0.

Wilson made an excellent start to his Semi-Final against Didukh, taking a 2-0 lead, before the world No.1 fought back to make it 2-2. Wilson, however, is showing the form that saw him win world and Commonwealth titles in 2018 and he held his nerve superbly to take the deciding set 11-9 on his third match point.

There was more than gold at stake in the Final. This time it was Wilson with a winning streak to protect, having won his last 12 matches against Ledoux. There was no 13th time lucky for the Belgian - Wilson always in control for a 3-0 triumph.

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