Liam Pitchford has leapt to a career high world ranking of 31 after his recent run of superb performances on the ITTF World Tour.

It beats his previous best position of 39 from April 2016 and is the highest England ranking since Matthew Syed in the 1990s.

It comes on the back of reaching the semi-finals of the Czech Open last month, beating former World No 1 Dimitrij Ovtcharov in the quarters, and beating world and Olympic champion Ma Long to reach the last 16 of the Bulgaria Open the previous week.

Pitchford, who has enjoyed a string of notable victories this year, is aiming even higher.

He said: “You’ve got to set a target and I want to be in the top 20 by the end of the year, but if I’m not I know that if I keep working hard that will come eventually.

“It’s not easy breaking into the top 20 and staying there, but that’s the aim.”

Paul Drinkhall (80) and Sam Walker (99) are also both inside the top 100, as is Tin-Tin Ho who is No 100 on the women’s list.