Commonwealth champions Liam Pitchford & Paul Drinkhall have reached the heady heights of No 7 as a pair in the doubles world rankings.

The pair were previously ranked at 10 but have now hit a career high, cementing their reputation as one of the foremost combinations in the world.

Among their accolades are reaching the semi-finals of the WTT Star Contender in Budapest last July, before going on to defend their Commonwealth Games title in Birmingham.

Previously, they reached the quarter-finals of the 2021 World Championships in Houston and the final of the 2020 Qatar Open in Doha, where they lost to the great Xu Xin & Ma Long of China.

Pitchford said targeting a tournament win on the WTT circuit and going higher in the rankings were both realistic aims.

He said: “We’ve been to the quarter-finals of the Worlds, to finals and semi-finals in the WTT and obviously won the Commonwealths, so I think we’ve been consistently good.

“Every time we play together, we want to win, and we had chances in Doha and at the Worlds, so hopefully we can do it on the world stage soon.

“We can be proud of the ranking we’re at now and can hopefully go higher. If we win a WTT event, that would send our ranking up, so they’re both aims.

“Getting to No 7 is good for us as a pair, but I think it’s good for table tennis in England as well – kids can see that it’s possible to reach the top 10 in the world and hopefully we can inspire the next generation.”

Paul & Liam on the podium alongside Xu Xin & Ma Long at the 2020 Qatar Open
Paul & Liam on top of the podium at Birmingham 2022 (photo by Michael Loveder)