Andrew Baggaley admitted his new title of World Ping Pong Champion is beginning to sink in.
The 31-year-old lifted the crown at Alexandra Palace on Sunday after he got the better of German Alexander Flemming in a thrilling five setter.
The MK man reached the quarter finals in the last two years, and was really put through his paces in the final night, playing three matches which all went right down to the wire.
Baggaley raced into a 2-0 lead in the final against Flemming, before the man from Leipzig fought back to equalise, sending the match to a deciding set.
And after an enthralling finale, Baggaley came out on top to lift the trophy and a $20,000 prize.
“It’s just starting to sink in. I’m a world champion!” Baggaley said. “But I still can’t believe it.
“These are the moments people take up sports to have. The celebrations, everyone leaping around - that was all raw, it’s wasn’t choreographed. The crowd was excellent, and the atmosphere was different to any other tournament I’ve played in.”
Baggaley played two intensive matches before the final, including a tense semi final against top ping pong player Maxim Shmyrev.
And that match gave Baggaley a lot of confidence going into the final against Flemming.
He said: “In the semi final, I played some of my best stuff. I knew I was strong on my back hand in this format of the game, but I was really up against it against a really top player.
“After that, I was confident I could go all the way. Physically I was put through my paces, but emotionally too.”
With the world title in the bag, Baggaley will now take some time off before a hectic few months ahead as he returns to the table tennis table.
But it’s something he’s looking forward to, especially now he has a major tournament win under his belt.
“It will be huge for my confidence,” he added. “You play your best stuff when you’re relaxed and enjoying it. I hope that will be the case for me.”