Pitchford eyes improvements as he returns to world stage

13 May 2013 / 18:31

Liam Pitchford believes he has improved significantly since his last outing at the individual World Table Tennis Championships with his sights set high on his return and beyond.

The 20-year-old reached the last 128 at the 2011 World Championships in Rotterdam but has since gained invaluable experience both with his club and country.

Pitchford represented Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics last summer and has this season helped club TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen reach the final of the Bundesliga play-offs.

Among his victims on club duty has been Koki Niwa, the Japanese player his conqueror at the last individual World Championships in the Netherlands in May 2011.

And, while adamant it wouldn’t be so easy if he was to face Niwa again at this week’s worlds in Paris, Pitchford insists he is getting better and better and wants his global ranking to show it.

“I think that it’s been a major step for me in these last few months that I have been able to consistently perform well, I won my last three matches in the Bundesliga season and I will go to the worlds confident that I can continue my form,” said Pitchford.

“Koki has obviously not performed well in the German league this year so I think it would be a tighter game if we were to play in Paris but I believe I have made a lot of progress since Rotterdam.

“I hope that I can play well enough to string some performances together and then we will see where that takes me. I hope to go further than last time as my first goal.

“After the worlds I hope I can break into the world top 100 by at least the end of the year.”

© Sportsbeat 2013