“The Slovenian Open is always one of the strongest tournaments of the year and with the exception of the Chinese most of the top players were competing this year. I was happy with how I played in Slovenia although I was disappointed to lose 3-1 in the semi-finals of the singles to the World number one. We have had some close matches over the last two years, including the semi-finals of the European Championships last year, and hopefully next time I can make some changes, come back stronger and get the win against him.
“The conditions were a little bit different in Slovenia compared to what I have been playing on recently. It was quite hard to get used to that again and adapt to it but to be able to overcome it and rise to the challenge was a great feeling. I felt good on the table and I was playing from within myself and I’m really enjoying it at the moment.
“I had some really good wins in Slovenia including beating the former World number one Emil Andersson from Sweden 3-0. We have had a lot of big battles over the years and he has always been one of my big rivals. I also managed to beat Andras Csonka, the silver medallist from Rio, 3-1 so I know that I am moving in the right direction.
“I felt comfortable in those matches and I felt quite calm and concentrated the whole way. I know that I can improve on a lot of things as well so to know that is really good for me. I am really motivated at the moment and I think winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games has not only given me greater belief in myself but also made me hungrier for more medals and titles.
“My next big target is the World Championships in October. It will be my first World Championships as I missed the last one four years ago due to injury. I’ll have a bit of a break in the summer but for the next five months my focus will be on training and making those small improvements that will help me to produce my best in October and I’m really excited to see how far I can go against the best in the world.”