Evans Wins Record 12th World Championship Title

Evans Wins Record 12th World Championship Title

England’s Reanne Evans has won the World Women’s Snooker Championship for a record-extending 12th time following a 6-3 victory against Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai in Bangkok this evening.

The world number one has had to watch Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee lift the trophy during each of the past two years since her last success in 2016 but this time was not to be denied as she emerged from a high-quality international field of 53 players to reclaim the biggest title in women’s snooker.

The final proved to be a high-quality affair, 19-year-old Wongharuthai taking the opening frame with a break of 61 before Evans claimed the next two to hit the front.

The following two frames were shared to give Evans a 3-2 lead at the mid-session interval, before the Dudley star added the sixth to move two clear for the first time.

Back came Wongharuthai with a break of 56 but it was Evans who was to finish in style, a tournament-high run of 92 enough to secure the high break prize before she claimed what would prove to be the final frame with a run of 43 to seal the title.

“It feels pretty good!” said a thrilled Evans shortly after the final. “It has been a long time coming after my 11th and it does mean more after losing during the past two years. I had such a good run [winning the title 10 years in a row from 2005-2014] but it obviously has been frustrating and gutting for that to end and to have lost a bit of confidence.

“The final was really tight all the way through. I was a little bit edgy at the start but I still felt good and towards the end I felt even better, I wasn’t letting it go this year.”

Despite her loss in today’s final, Evans was impressed by her young opponent who continues to show improvement in her game.

“You can tell her shot selection is getting better,” added Evans. “Her technique is brilliant, she is a lovely person and her temperament is great. She laughs everything off and just gets on with it, that’s the right way to be.”

Evans reflected on what has been a fantastic week for women’s snooker which saw the staging of the inaugural Women’s Snooker World Cup and the biggest World Championship for a generation with players having travelled from 14 different countries to compete.

“I’m really happy because the standard has been so good here this year,” continued Dudley’s Evans. “It could have been anyone winning it from the quarter-finals stage and fingers crossed that these players will keep competing and inspire others to play. I’m just happy to win against all the youngsters now, they are so attacking. A few shot selections have let them down but that’s about it and that comes with experience.

“The tournament has been amazing, one of the best ones ever. The facilities have been top class, the hospitality has been fantastic, it has been well-run and all the people have been brilliant. It has also been amazing to have so many matches streamed live which will only add to the interest in women’s snooker.”

Earlier in the day Evans came through a tough semi-final contest against another Thai player Baipat Siripaporn winning 5-3, while Wongharuthai ended the challenge of 12-time European champion Wendy Jans 5-2.

The victory represents a sixth ranking event title success of the season for Evans and extends a streak dating back to her maiden title in 2005 of the World Women’s Snooker Championship being won by her and three-time champion Ng On Yee.

There was victory for Hong Kong in the Challenge Cup event for players who did not make it to the knockout rounds of the main competition as So Man Yan defeated India’s Chitra Magimairaj 3-2 in the final.

Challenge Tour Nominations Announced

Challenge Tour Nominations Announced

The WPBSA and World Snooker have today announced further information in respect of the nominated players who will participate in the new Challenge Tour.

To operate as a secondary circuit to the World Snooker Tour, Challenge Tour will comprise 10 events to be staged across the UK and mainland Europe during the 2018/19 season.

Players

The top 64 players on the final 2018 Q School Rankings, excluding those who have qualified for the main tour, will be eligible to compete in each Challenge Tour event.

Up to eight more players will be added to the tour based on the following criteria agreed by the WPBSA in consultation with the World Snooker Federation (WSF):

European WSF Member Federations hosting Challenge Tour Events

  • National Champion of Latvia
  • National Champion of Belgium
  • TBC – EBSA Host European Federation

Players who reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Snooker Federation Mixed Championships

  • Kacper Filipiak of Poland
  • Kristjan Helgason of Iceland

World Women’s Snooker Tour

  • Ng On Yee of Hong Kong (2018 WLBS World Women’s Snooker champion)
  • Reanne Evans of England (2017/2018 season end WLBS World Women’s no.1 ranked, or next in line if the same as world champion)

The eighth nomination was the WSF Championship runner-up Adam Stefanów, however it was recently announced that he is now to join the World Snooker Tour from the 2018/19 season.

Should any of the above players not enter a Challenge Tour event, any further players will be selected based upon the Q School Rankings. National federations will not have the option to transfer these invitations to other players.

Challenge Tour will provide a direct pathway to the World Snooker Tour, with the top two players on the final Order of Merit to receive a two-year professional ticket from the start of the 2019/20 season.

There will be a total prize fund of £100,000 to be provided by the WPBSA as part of its ongoing commitment to amateur snooker which has recently seen the formalisation of the International Federation for Snooker, the WSF.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “I am delighted to see the gap between amateur and professional snooker getting smaller with the introduction of the World Snooker Challenge Tour in Europe. We have seen many young talented players coming through in China through competing on the CBSA Tour which provides excellent playing opportunities for leading players in the region. There is a strong appetite from elite performing amateur players across Europe to have similar opportunities as they look to develop a full-time career in our sport.

This new Challenge Tour will not only provide the opportunity to compete at a high-level in match conditions, it will also be a place where as a world governing body we can educate the next generation of players and officials to safeguard our sport’s future.”

The first Challenge Tour event gets underway this Saturday at the Meadowside Leisure Centre in Burton and will run for two days with a total prize fund of £10,000.

WSF Championship Set for Knockout Rounds

WSF Championship Set for Knockout Rounds

The draw for the knockout stages of the inaugural WSF Championship has been made today in Malta.

Following the conclusion of the final round robin group matches on Wednesday morning, the initial 90-strong field has been reduced to 54 players all looking to take home the winner’s trophy and earn their place on the World Snooker Tour.

From 18 groups, three players have progressed from each with the ‘best’ group winners seeded straight through to Thursday’s last 32. The remaining 44 players will play this evening across two sessions to determine who will join them with three days of the tournament remaining.

Among those to progress, four players (Adam Stefanow, Kevin Hanssens, David Lilley and Ross Vallance) did so without the loss of a frame, while a further four including WSF Seniors Champion Igor Figueiredo of Brazil did so just losing a single frame.

11-time world women’s snooker champion Reanne Evans ensured that there would be a female presence in the draw at the landmark mixed gender event by winning her two matches on Tuesday to come through her group. She will now face Welshman Kishan Hirani, who earlier in the day ended the qualification hopes of another female player, England’s Rebecca Kenna.

There were six century breaks scored during the group stages, with a run of 131 set by Igor Figueiredo’s currently leading the race.

The winner of the tournament will earn a top prize of €10,000, as well as a two-year tour card for the World Snooker Tour. The four semi-finalists will also qualify to play at next month’s professional World Championship qualifiers in Sheffield.

On Yee Wins Third World Women’s Title

On Yee Wins Third World Women’s Title

Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has defeated Maria Catalano 5-0 to complete the successful defence of her WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship title and claim her third world crown overall on Saturday.

On Yee completed a dominant week in Malta with a convincing victory against world number four Catalano, who earlier in the day had stunned 11-time world champion Reanne Evans with a 4-3 win to progress to her fifth world final and first since 2013.

It was also a fifth final for On Yee, who last month became world number one for the first time in her career and following previous victories against Belgium’s Wendy Jans and third ranked Rebecca Kenna, routed Catalano to seal the title without the loss of a single frame.

The success sees On Yee become only the third player ever to win the title on three or more occasions, joining an elite group comprising Reanne Evans (11), Allison Fisher (7), Kelly Fisher (5) and Karen Corr (3).

The 27-year-old will also extend her lead at the top of the WLBS rankings when they are revised next week, while beaten finalist Catalano will rise one place to number three following her run.

A delighted On Yee later revealed that she came into the tournament carrying an illness, but that this could have actually worked to her advantage.

“I am absolutely over the moon to win my third title,” said On Yee. “I did not have great expectations coming into the tournament as I was coughing and sick so just tried to play every game, every ball. But looking back now I think that this took a lot of pressure off me and I started to play a little better.

“When I saw the knockout draw I thought that was a tough draw, playing Wendy Jans in the first knockout match, but I just tried to focus and to enjoy the games. I would like to say thank you to all of my team, including family and friends, as well as my coaches at the Hong Kong Sports Institute who have supported me even late at night.”

And having enjoyed her time at the tournament in Malta, the Asian star now turns her attention to Sheffield where she will compete at the professional World Championship qualifiers following her latest triumph.

“It has been great to be here in Malta for the first time with very nice weather, a beautiful ocean view for breakfast in the morning and to be surrounded by nice people.

“As well as the title, the most important thing for me is that I have now qualified to player at the professional World Championship in Sheffield which I am really looking forward to.

“The first time there when I played Peter Lines [in 2016] I was so nervous about the atmosphere that I did not play well. Last year against Nigel Bond I had more expectations, but I still didn’t play well, so hopefully this year I can just enjoy the match.”

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return for its final event of the 2017/18 season with the Women’s Festival of Snooker, which runs from 13-16 April 2018. Entries for the event are still being accepted HERE.

WSF Championships Underway in Malta

WSF Championships Underway in Malta

Today marked a historic day for snooker as play started at the first-ever World Snooker Federation Championships at Malta’s Dolmen Hotel.

The Championships were formally launched ahead of Wednesday’s opening session with a welcome ceremony led by WSF General Secretary and Competition Manager Maxime Cassis, together with WSF Vice-Chairman Nigel Mawer and World Ladies Billiards and Snooker President Mandy Fisher.

Play then began with action from the 37th staging of the WLBS World Women’s Snooker Championship and the inaugural WSF Seniors Championship events. Both tournaments will run across four days, ahead of the start of the mixed gender event on Sunday.

Both the Women’s and Seniors competitions carry a top prize of €6,000, with the eight quarter-finalists of each event to earn their place in the mixed gender event which will offer the winner the opportunity to play at the professional World Championship qualifiers in Sheffield, England, next month.

Top Seeds Impress in Women’s Event

There was a strong start to the tournament for many of the top seeded players in the World Women’s Snooker Championship event as the likes of defending champion Ng On Yee and 11-time winner Reanne Evans opened with convincing victories in Malta.

Evans began the day with a 3-0 win against Brazil’s Fatima Gusso Rigoni, including top breaks of 61, 48, 38 and 35, before On Yee took to the baize in the final session to whitewash Poland’s Ewelina Piślewska.

Morgan Makes Statement of Intent

Welshman Darren Morgan made an impressive start to his latest quest for international glory with a high-scoring opening victory against Bulgaria’s Boris Lazarkov.

The former world professional number eight hit breaks of 124, 77, 50 and 41 to underline his credentials as one of the tournament favourites.

Among the other winners on day one included former Grand Prix semi-finalist Michael Judge (whose sister Paula is also in Malta competing in the women’s event), and Iceland’s Kristján Helgason who had runs of 65, 58 and 43 during a 3-0 success against England’s Colin White.

It was also a strong start to the competition for host country Malta, with several of their players including Simon Zammit, Jason Peplow and Frans Abdilla winning their openers.

The WSF Championships continue with the final round robin matches of both events on Thursday, with the top two players from each group progressing to the knockout rounds.