After yesterdays superb win over Austria at the Leibherr 2010 World Team Championships in Moscow the Womens team started again against Italy early this morning.
In the first match Kelly Sibley had one of the best, if not the best ever, win of her career beating World No 76, Tan Monfardini Wenling in 3 superb games. Kelly made virtually no unforced errors and was just quicker than her opponent who is not the slowest player in the world by any means. Second match went to Italy, Nikoleta Stefanova’s varied speed loop game from both wings was just too good and Joanna Parker was beaten in 3 straight games.
The third match was such a battle, Italian no 3, Debora Vivarelli against England No 3, Hannah Hicks,
Hannah started superbly taking the first game, the Italian responded taking the second. Hannah played really well in a tight third game taking it 11-8 and when she stood 4-0 up in the fourth game it looked like a great win was on the cards, but, enter a critical timeout for the Italians, Hannah won only 2 of the next 26 points after it and suddenly the Italians were 2-1 ahead.
Fourth game was Tan Monfardini Wenling against Joanna Parker and again the big, quick, forehand loop game was just too much for Joanna who went down in three games giving the team match to Italy 3-1.
The way Kelly was playing in the first match many would have been pleased to see her take on Nikoleta Stefanova in the last match but we were denied that last game contest by the fighting qualities of the Italian number 3, Debora Vivarelli.
This is the Championships division and it doesn’t get any easier, next match is against Croatia tomorrow afternoon UK time at 16:30.
TAN MONFARDINI Wenling lost to SIBLEY Kelly 8-11. 8-11, 3-11
STEFANOVA Nikoleta beat PARKER Joanna 11-4, 11-6, 11-6
VIVARELLI Debora beat HICKS Hannah 5-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-2
TAN MONFARDINI Wenling beat PARKER Joanna 11-7, 11-5, 11-5
Photo: Kelly Sibley, a superb 3-0 win over Tan Monfardini Wenling – courtesy ITTF