Kelly Sibley with partner Jo Parker almost had 2-1 lead

British hopes flickered for a while before finally being extinguished in the women’s doubles first round at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals at Excel.

Joanna Parker and Kelly Sibley, stepped out holding the hopes of the British crowd – and for a time they didn’t disappoint.

They gave the early British fans something to cheer about beating No 4 seeds Li Jiawei and Yuegu Wang in their second game and going on to lead 10-5 in the third game as all eyes were firmly focused on court one.

But inevitably the two Singaporeans began to take control. Slowly, point by point, they began to climb back into the game and to the frustration of the crowd finally overtook their GB rivals to take the third game 13-11 before going on to win the next two games 11-4, 11-3 and the match.

“We felt they were really struggling, “said Kelly.  “But as soon as they stepped up their game it was very hard trying to get back.  I thought we played well but they are a quality pair.”