|England's Liam Pitchford in Suzhou|
Image from ITTF.com
I was at my club Ochsenhausen in Germany. We had 3 weeks after the last match to start preparation. It was a little bit more structured because we had a bit longer to prepare so I could incorporate a bit more physical work into my programme. It was slightly hampered by a shoulder injury I got but I was confident heading into the tournament that I could perform well.
How did you feel about the draw going into the first round? Did you feel Kreanga was a reasonable draw for you?
I felt like it was a reasonable draw. I know he is a good player but I was confident that if I played well that I had a good chance to win.
How did it feel to come out on top in that match with Kreanga and get through the first round?
It felt great, I was quite nervous at the beginning. Probably still some thoughts about my shoulder problem in the back of my mind but once I relaxed I started to play some good stuff.
Your next round was against your former Ochsenhausen team-mate Tiago Apolonia. How did you feel you played in that match?
I felt I played quite solid, it was a bit of a scrappy match probably because we both know each other's game. I sense he was more nervous than usual so I was happy I could take my chance.
In the third round you ended up losing to Joo Se Hyuk. What do you think the main factors were in your loss? What could have changed the result looking back on the match?
I think after the first 2 sets he became accustomed to my game. He was putting a lot more balls on the table. I think I was trying to hit the ball a little bit too hard and probably not playing with enough patience as I probably should have. It's all a learning curve and I will have a better idea about how to play him if I play him again! I think if I could have converted the set balls in the 1st set it might have been different but who knows.
Great to see you back in the top 50, what's the next big focus for you now?
Thanks! European Games in June is massive, I will play the Croatian Open in a couple of weeks to get some match practice but that is the big one!
Thanks so much Liam, great to see you back in good form and best of luck for the European Games!