MARIA Tsaptsinos believes her first World Team Championships experience will stand her in good stead for her future career.

The Reading player joined Tin-Tin Ho and Denise Payet for the event in Sweden, and at 20 was the oldest in the squad, with stalwart England star Kelly Sibley having retired after the Commonwealth Games.

The England team, playing in the second division, started well with group victories over Dominican Republic (3-0), Switzerland (3-2) and the group top seeds Chile (3-1).

Tsaptsinos clinched victory in the Switzerland tie, beating Rahel Aschwanden 3-2 (11-0, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-4) in the final match.

There followed a 3-1 defeat by Canada, during which Tsaptsinos led world No. 25 Mo Zhang 2-1 before her opponent came back to triumph 3-2. A subsequent 3-0 reverse at the hands of Serbia meant England were edged into fourth place in the group, meaning they entered into the play-offs for the bottom half of the division.

And a 3-2 defeat by Cuba meant they ended in the 40th-44th position bracket.

Tsaptsinos said: “It started off well with three really good wins and great performances. We were unfortunate to lose to Canada after beating them at the Commonwealths, but I thought I played well. I was 2-1 up against the world No. 25 and I can’t complain about my performance. On the day in that match, anyone could beat anyone.

“Our next match against Serbia was tough. They were ranked below us but were the strongest team we played.

“It was quite hard to take after three good wins and one close loss being fourth in the group and going into the bottom half of the draw.

“Overall, it was up and down for me. In the end I was feeling a bit stressed and upset about the way the group finished and I didn’t play my best against Cuba. But there were some good performances I can be proud of.

“I learned a lot and it was good for my first World Championships.”