Andrew Baggaley is now top British male in the world rankings

Andrew Baggaley has become the new highest world ranked British player.

After his first year of competing regularly on the ITTF Pro Tour Baggaley has achieved the career milestone at the perfect time with under a year to go before the London 2012 Olympics.

He started with a spectacular ITTF Pro Tour Polish Open in November 2010 where he defeated the former World No1. Jean-Michel Saive from Belgium and then went on to compete successfully at the ITTF Pro Tour events in Slovenia (January 2011), England (January 2011), Germany (February 2011), Spain (April 2011), Austria (September 2011) and Sweden (October 2011).

Baggaley’s new ranking is now at World No.142 having been outside the World Top 200 players last year due to not playing on the ITTF Pro Tour regularly.

The man from Milton Keynes replaces Paul Drinkhall as the British No.1 and will be attempting to break into the World Top 100 before London 2012.

Baggaley said: “I fully believe this is just the start and I hope to break into the World Top 100 very soon. I have massive self belief that on my day I can beat any player in the world and I am sure I can continue the World Class form and be at my peak at London 2012.”

Compatriot Drinkhall has now dropped behind Baggaley to 144th place while youngster Liam Pitchford has his expected leap in positions following his amazing last month.

The 18-year-old has gone from 269th to 200th after his superb performances that included victories over world number 9 Vladimir Samsonov, number 20 Alexey Smirnov, number 51 Dmitrij Prokopcov and number 96 Tomas Konecny amongst others.

Joanna Parker, meanwhile, becomes the highest ranked British player in 138th after she moved up eight places in November’s rankings. Kelly Sibley also rises in the women’s standings – up to 157th (a 16 place rise) while the third highest ranked British female is Ireland’s Liu Na.

There were also large boosts for English players Daniel Reed (up 25), Hannah Hicks (up 57) and Emily Bates (up 46).

ITTF World Rankings (November 2011)

Selected British rankings (ENG unless stated):

Men Rank: Name: Change: Women rank: Name: Change:
142 Andrew Baggaley – 3 138 Joanna Parker + 8
144 Paul Drinkhall – 7 157 Kelly Sibley + 16
200 Liam Pitchford + 69 221 Liu Na (IRL) – 8
231 Gavin Rumgay (SCO) – 1 413 Naomi Owen (WAL) – 20
245 Darius Knight – 6 503 Hannah Hicks + 57
267 Daniel Reed + 25 506 Alice Loveridge (GGY) – 8
451 Chris Doran – 2 513 Emily Bates + 46
593 Gavin Evans – 24 567 Charlotte Carey + 148

Baggaley, Drinkhall and Pitchford will be part of a historic first ever Team GB Men’s side in a match against a World All Stars team as part of the ITTF Pro Tour Finals from 24th-27th November 2011.

It is also the official and only London 2012 Test Event for Table Tennis held at ExCel in London.