17th Dec, 2018

Doubles title sets up Leamington's Sibley for Commonwealth Games

LEAMINGTON’S Kelly Sibley added another title to her long list at the PG Mutual National Championships, but was beaten in two more finals.

Sibley and partner Maria Tsaptsinos overcame Ho and Denise Payet in the women’s doubles final at the Copper Box Arena, triumphing 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-7).

Sibley, who will compete for England at the Commonwealth Games next month, reached all three finals for which she was eligible, but was defeated in the other two.

Ho overcame her 4-1 (6-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8) in a close tussle in the women’s singles – the same outcome as in the previous two years.

And in the mixed doubles, Sibley & David McBeath saw opponents Liam Pitchford and Ho save one match point in the fourth game and three from 10-7 down in the fifth on their way to a 3-2 (11-9, 6-11, 8-11, 14-12, 12-10) victory.

Nevertheless, Sibley feels her game is in good order ahead of the Commonwealths in Gold Coast, Australia.

She said: “I feel I’m playing well. I felt strong and I was timing the ball really well. I always knew the final was going to be tough but I went in for the first time in a lot of years feeling that the pressure wasn’t on me in the final.

“Hats off to her, she coped really well with that pressure and she’s as quick as a whippet. I’m disappointed, but I’m feeling very positive about my game and that my table tennis is going in the right direction for Gold Coast.

“Women’s doubles was a very good performance from us – Maria and I seem to gel well as a pair. In the mixed, we didn’t do much wrong, they just played really well at the end.

“Again, feeling very positive for the Commonwealths.”

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