Disappointment for Parker
July 29, 2012 10:03 am
Joanna Parker crashed out of the Olympics women's table tennis singles at the hands of world number 47 Kristin Silbereisen.
Parker raised hopes of unexpected Team GB success on Saturday when cruising to a comprehensive 4-0 victory against Caroline Kumahara. But the challenge of Silbereisen proved a bridge too far for the 25-year-old, who sits 119th in the ITTF rankings.
The German's 4-1 (11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-4) win was as ruthless as Parker's on Saturday and took her into the third round, when the top 16 seeds will enter the fray.
Parker will next be seen alongside Kelly Sibley and Na Liu when the team event gets under way on August 3.
While Parker on Saturday profited from her opponent's often wild, aggressive style, the same could not be said against Silbereisen. Indeed, Silbereisen was deadly accurate throughout and her mixture of power and guile, particularly with the forehand, gave Parker problems from the off.
The Brit soon fell 5-1 behind in the opening act and, struggling in the face of the German's well-timed assaults, eventually slipped to an 11-6 loss. The next game was initially more competitive; Parker prospering by getting into position earlier - something that is essential given her defensive style.
After falling 2-0 behind, Silbereisen eventually found her rhythm once more, however, and quickly re-established control. As Parker struggled further, the crowd became more subdued - a factor that will no doubt have helped the favourite move 2-0 ahead.
Clearly settled, Silbereisen began to unfurl a full array of attacking strokes that often perfectly married power and accuracy. Parker, though, was refusing to give up and, playing with more intent, suddenly found herself 7-4 ahead.
A series of chops thereafter meant the Brit took the game - and suddenly the crowd came alive again. Yet Parker became sloppy at the start of the next as four immediate unforced errors handed back the initiative.
That was a position from which she never recovered, with Silbereisen moving a game away from victory. There was to be no inspired comeback from Parker - the German took the final set despite her opponent leading 3-1 and 4-2 - but she can still hold her head high.
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