Liam Pitchford is England’s new senior number 1, taking over from Paul Drinkhall who has been present at the top of the leader board since becoming the youngest ever number 1 at the age of 16 in 2006.
Over the past few years Liam has gone from strength to strength, since finishing his GCSE’s he has been able to concentrate full time on his table tennis career, this dedication has produced some outstanding performances, the frequency of which has been gradually increasing.
Domestically Paul Drinkhall has been England’s long-standing number 1, but the young Chesterfield player has been pushing him harder and harder. At this years National Championships, Pitchford got the upper hand to claim the U21’s title, having previously put Drinkhall out of the 09/10 singles championships in the semi-finals, before narrowly being defeated by Andrew Baggaley.
Internationally Pitchford has claimed some major scalps. During the 2009 English Open when he was ranked 579th, he edged out world number 89 Liu Song (Argentina) in a very close 4-3 battle, read about it here. At this years English Open he come out victorious against no. 148 Stefan Fegerl (Austria) which you can watch below.
These performances were eclipsed this month though when he went on an impressive run of form during the Austrian Open and European Championships, which included three victories against players in the top 50, including the Belarusian Vladimir Samsonov ranked 9th!