Congratulations to Stiga Player Tin Tin Ho who retained her Women’s Singles title and with a hat trick won the under 21’s Women’s and the mixed doubles at the weekend at the senior nationals in London.
Another national title for Tin-Tin Ho
Tin-Tin Ho retained her recent stranglehold over the women’s final and opponent Kelly Sibley in a high-class final characterised by plenty of superb exchanges.
Meeting in the final for the fourth successive year, it was a third win in a row for the Londoner.
Sibley attempted to move Ho around the court and power winners past her, but Ho was at her relentless best for much of the match, getting ball after ball back on the table and forcing errors as well as hitting winners of her own.
So quick was she around the court that Sibley lamented afterwards that Ho was like a whippet.
Sibley did make a good start, winning the first, and she continued to play well and to go for her shots.
Ho feels she has benefited from playing in Austria for the Linz club as she takes a gap year before university,
She said: “I’ve been in Austria almost a year and I feel my game is coming on and I’m more confident and relaxed on the table.
“I think all the finals have been equally as hard but this time Kelly was setting herself up in rallies and I was missing a few shots. But I started getting more back on the table and I’m really happy with how I played in the end.”
Sibley said: “I’d rather lose going for it. I feel I’m playing really well and that showed in the quarter-finals and semis. I felt really strong and I was timing the ball 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. 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.”
Earlier on the final day, Sibley got off to a flying start in the first semi-final against Maria Tsaptsinos, taking the opening two 11-5 and 11-3 in a match characterised by some dynamic forehand exchanges.
When she trailed 3-8 in the third, it seemed as if a battle might develop, but Sibley worked her way back to lead 10-9. Tsaptsinos won the next two to hold a game point, but Sibley saved it with the aid of a net cord and forced her opponent into two mistakes on the next two points.
Sibley’s fist pump and ‘Cho’ at the end of the game showed how important it was, but it was not yet won and lost. The fourth was tight as Tsaptsinos, at times frustrated with herself, fought for every ball. She held game points at 10-9 and 11-10 in that one, but again Sibley saved them and two netted returns by Tsaptsinos concluded the match.
The other semi-final saw Ho fired up and too powerful for Karina Le Fevre, who battled gamely but just didn’t have the weaponry to land enough blows on a consistent basis.
Le Fevre got to 9-9 and 10-10 in the fourth, saving a match point but a backhand drifted long to present Ho with her second chance to win it. We were made to wait as Charles Ho called a time-out to settle any possible nerves, and a netted return by Le Fevre settled the issue.
Publish date: March 4, 2018
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