Posts by: Matt Huart

Mink Makes Historic Max

Thai talent Nutcharut Wongharuthai has today compiled a 147 maximum break for the first time in her career at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Thailand.

The world number eight (also known as ‘Mink’) completed the magical break during a practice match, a perfect split on the bunch of reds from the third black paving the way for what would prove to be snooker perfection.

It is believed that the break is the first ever 147 break to have been compiled by a woman in a match, either practice or in tournament play, potentially making this a historic achievement by the 19-year-old star.

The feat follows a successful breakthrough year in 2018 for Wongharuthai, who reached two ranking finals during the calendar year on her way to breaking into the world’s top ten for the first time.

You can watch the break via YouTube HERE.

Above photo courtesy of the Hi-End Snooker Club.

Thailand to Host 2019 World Women’s Championship

World Women’s Snooker (WWS) and the World Snooker Federation (WSF) are today delighted to announce that two prestigious women’s snooker tournaments will be contested across seven days at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok, Thailand this June.

The 38th staging of the iconic World Women’s Snooker Championship, won last year for a third time by Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, will take place from 20-23 June 2019. This will be preceded by the inaugural edition of a new international team competition for women players from across the globe from 17-19 June.

The blue riband event will be held with the full support of the Billiard Sports Association of Thailand and the Hi-End Snooker Club, a world-class facility which boasts 15 snooker tables and is the home of women’s players including 19-year-old Nutcharut Wongharuthai who has reached two WWS finals over the past 12 months.

This year’s World Women’s Championship shall carry a minimum prize fund of £15,000 and the team event a minimum total of £7,000, making this the biggest week of women’s snooker for over a decade.

Mandy Fisher, WWS president said: “We are excited to be heading back to Asia for this year’s World Women’s Championship and are thrilled with the support that we have received from our friends at the Hi-End Snooker Club and BSAT in the organisation of this event.

“We are also looking forward to hosting a major new international team event and to seeing women players from all over the world for what should be a fantastic week of snooker.”

Mr. Borriruk (Gap), general manager at the Hi-End Snooker Club said: “We feel very honoured to have been offered the responsibility to host these prestigious tournaments in our premises. We can now prepare to welcome the world’s best athletes to a fascinating snooker place.”

Suntorn Jarumon, BSAT president said: “We are delighted that World Women’s Snooker will be holding its biggest event of the year at the Hi-End Snooker Club and are looking forward to supporting the event.

“Women’s snooker in Thailand is growing year on year and Thai women players have been making a strong impact on the international stage, as well as at professional events. This year we will stage a women’s national snooker championship for the first time and the staging of a major ranking event in Thailand will surely benefit the game further and boost the popularity of women’s snooker in our country for years to come.”

Players will be nominated for both events by their national federation. Further information, including hotel information and the entry process for national federations to both events will be released as soon as possible.

Key information

Dates

16 June – Opening ceremony / Welcome
17-19 June – Team Event
20-23 June – World Women’s Snooker Championship 2019

Venue

Hi-End Snooker Club, Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Emma Parker – Shoot Out Is Massive Opportunity

Leading women’s snooker player Emma Parker believes the chance to play in this week’s BetVictor Shoot Out in Watford is a “massive opportunity.”

Parker, Women’s World Under-21 Champion in 2017, is one of two female players in the field  alongside Reanne Evans. It will be the first time that women have competed in televised matches in the final stages of a world ranking event in the UK.

Parker is one of eight players to have been awarded wild card places among the 128-strong field. The tournament, which runs from February 21-24 at the Watford Colosseum, is televised on Eurosport and Quest.

Age 19 from Essex, Parker is currently top of the World Women’s Snooker under-21 rankings and tenth in the overall rankings. She faces India’s Laxman Rawat in the first round in Watford on Friday evening. Match schedule

The Shoot Out has a unique format with all matches played in a single frame and lasting a maximum of ten minutes. There is a shot clock of 15 seconds for the first five minutes and ten seconds for the last five.

“I will be nervous on Friday but hopefully I can put that to one side and play well,” said Parker, who has practised in the past with top players including Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump. “It is a massive opportunity for myself and Reanne to play on television. Hopefully we can win matches. I would love snooker to be my career, I just have to take it step by step.”

Parker won an amateur tournament in London last weekend, beating several male players. “That has given me confidence,” she added. “I  don’t know much about my first round opponent on Friday but I’ll just be focused on playing my game. I have been practising with a shot clock, my mum has been counting down the seconds for me! It’s not easy, you have to see the shot quickly and then play it.”

Evans, arguably snooker’s best ever female player having won the women’s World Championship 11 times, is up against legend Jimmy White on Thursday evening.

Other top stars in action include Shaun Murphy, Barry Hawkins, Kyren Wilson, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, Ken Doherty and defending champion Michael Georgiou.

The eight wildcards are:

Ryan Davies, English Junior Champion

Liam Graham, Scottish Under-16 champion

Liam Davies, Welsh Under-14s number one

Stephan Bateman, Irish Under-21 Champion

Ben Mertens, Belgium. European Under-18 Championship quarter-finalist.

Emma Parker, top of women’s world under-21 rankings

Reanne Evans, multiple Women’s World Champion

Brandon Sargeant, top of the Challenge Tour rankings

Tickets for the BetVictor Shoot Out start at just £13.50. Certain sessions will sell out so fans must book now..the clock is ticking! Fast and furious drama is guaranteed. For details CLICK HERE  

Festival of Women’s Snooker 2019: Enter Now

Entries are now being accepted for this season’s Festival of Women’s Snooker as the World Women’s Snooker Tour heads back to Leeds.

The event will take place across four days from 12-15 April 2019 at the Northern Snooker Centre and as was the case last year will incorporate five world championship competitions:

  • Friday 12 April – World Women’s Under-21 Championship / World Women’s Seniors Championship
  • Saturday 13 April – World Women’s 10-Red Championship
  • Sunday 14 April – World Women’s 6-Red Championship
  • Monday 15 April – World Women’s Pairs Championship

Last season saw Reanne Evans claim a title triple with individual victories in the 10-Red and 6-Red competitions, as well as in the pairs tournament together with Maria Catalano. There was also success for Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Jenny Poulter who claimed silverware in the Under-21 and Seniors events respectively.

The closing date for entries and payment of entry fees is 4:30pm BST on Friday 5 April 2019.

World Women’s Rankings – Belgian Women’s Open 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the first time in 2019 as Reanne Evans claimed her third title of the season at the Belgian Women’s Open last weekend.

The WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at this year’s event held at The Trickshot in Bruges.

On Yee completes year at the top

Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has completed 12 months at the head of the world women’s ranking list following her run to the final last weekend in Bruges. In fact, despite losing out to closest rival Reanne Evans in the title match, On Yee has actually extended her lead because she was defending no points at this cut-off, while Evans had 3,200 coming off having reached the semi-finals of the Connie Gough Trophy in 2017.

It is not all bad news for 11-time world champion Evans however as her defeat of the top seed has strengthened her position in top spot on this season’s one-year ranking list with 6,000 more points to her name than On Yee.

With On Yee set to lose 20,000 from her total over the next six months following her flawless end to the 2016/17 season, there is a very real prospect that top spot will change hands before the end of the season with Evans due to defend only the 6,400 points earned by her semi-final run at the 2017 World Championship.

The top 10

Despite the removal of points earned two years ago in Dunstable and the addition of those earned in Belgium, there are no changes of position inside the top 10 this week.

Third ranked Rebecca Kenna finds herself on her own some distance behind the top two, but comfortably clear of Maria Catalano who was defending the maximum 5,000 points having triumphed two years ago at the Connie Gough Trophy and did not compete in Belgium

There is in fact a close battle for fourth place with just 2,525 separating Catalano, Katrina Wan and Laura Evans, with all three players defending a similar amount of points between now and the end of the season.

Further back, Suzie Opacic is under increasing pressure from Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who having reached the semi-finals or better for the fourth time in five events so far this season, looks destined to continue her surge up the ranking list over the coming months.

Jans on the rise

Among the biggest movers further down the rankings is Belgium’s Wendy Jans as the 12-time EBSA champion rises nine places to 23rd position following her second semi-final run of the season. A stronger player than her ranking would suggest, she will only continue to climb the ranking list with further tour appearances over the coming months.

Also on the rise is Jackie Ellis who climbs two places to a new career-high of 21st position, as well as Dorothee Rapp and Connie Stephens who are up to career-best positions of 31st and 32nd respectively.

Germany’s Tanja Ender also rises one position to 40th despite not competing in Bruges.

There are six new names on the ranking list this week including Jane O’Neill, who made her first appearance on the circuit since 2003, reaching the last 16. Both Vicky Shirley and Danielle Findlay fall off the list having not competed in over two years now.

Under-21

There is a change at the top of the Under-21 ranking list as with Shannon Metcalf absent from the tournament, a semi-final run from Emma Parker was enough to see the Hornchurch youngster reclaim the number one junior ranking for the second time this season.

Steph Daughtery, who captured the title in Bruges with a brilliant win against Nutcharut Wongharuthai consolidates third position, with her Thai opponent rising into the top four for the first time ahead of Aimee Benn.

Zoe Killington moves up to eighth position after winning her first match at under-21 level against newcomer Anne Kuijpers.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Festival of Women’s Snooker from 12-15 April 2019.

Belgian Double for Evans

England’s Reanne Evans defeated world number one Ng On Yee 4-1 to win the Belgian Women’s Open for the first time last weekend.

The new event was held for the first time at The Trickshot club in Bruges and was the first event of the new year on the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

Having already enjoyed success in Belgium earlier this season at the European Women’s Masters staged in Neerpelt, Evans was one of the favourites from a strong field which included eight of the world’s top 10 ranked players at the outset.

The 11-time world champion made comfortable progress to the semi-finals with victories against local debutant Vanessa Vermeulen and then world number 7 Suzie Opacic without the loss of a frame.

Awaiting her in the last four was 12-time EBSA champion Wendy Jans, the Belgian star having successfully navigated the group stages with a 100% record and a top break of 60. Meeting for the first time in a WWS competition since the same stage of the 2014 World Women’s Championship, it was Evans who made a fast start with a tournament-high break of 86 to take the opening frame, before Jans won three in a row to move to within a frame of reaching the final on home soil.

Back however came Dudley’s Evans, who capitalised on a missed chance by Jans in frame five and would ultimately win the final three frames, the last with breaks of 49 and 46, to progress to the title match a 4-3 winner.

There she would face top seed Ng On Yee, the Hong Kong player having also made comfortable early progress through the knockout draw before surviving a deciding-frame encounter with rising Thai talent Nutcharut Wongharuthai.

In what was perhaps surprisingly the first encounter of the season between the world’s two highest ranked players, it was On Yee who took the opening frame as she looked to add the title to previous victories at the UK Women’s Championship and Australian Women’s Open earlier this season.

Evans however had other ideas and having levelled the encounter following a close second frame, would ultimately win four in a row with top breaks of 55 and 45 to seal a 4-1 victory.

“I didn’t play great [in the final] but I felt like I had done just enough to win,” said 33-year-old Evans. “I am feeling more comfortable on the table at the moment which is a good sign for upcoming tournaments. It looked like I was going to lose 4-1 to Wendy in the semi-finals but I took my chance to make it 3-2 and after that I think I played quite well to come back, so I was confident going into the final.

“I seem to like playing in Belgium [having already won in Neerpelt earlier this season]. I have been to Bruges before and was looking forward to going back to what is a beautiful place. The people at the club looking after us were great and made us feel welcome. Hopefully we get to go back there in the future.”

The win sees Evans complete a hat-trick of victories this season, adding to her European Women’s Masters and Eden Masters titles in 2018. The win also boosts Evans’ chances of reclaiming the world number one ranking over the coming months, with On Yee set to defend a significant amount of world ranking points this spring.

The event was the fifth ranking event of the 2018/19 season and welcomed a mix of newcomers from the local area, together with returning faces such as Caty Dehaene and Jane O’Neill, the latter competing in her first WWS tournament for 16 years.

WWS would like to express its gratitude to everyone at the Trickshot, in particular owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team who welcomed the event with open arms and we hope to be able to return in 2020.

Side-events

It was a weekend to remember for Wakefield’s Steph Daughtery after the 17-year-old claimed victory in both the Challenge Cup and Under-21 side-events in Bruges.

Having reached the last 16 of the main event, losing out to Suzie Opacic 3-1 following a close match, she proved to be the scourge of the Belgian players in the Challenge Cup draw as she defeated Milenka Vansteenkiste, Melissa Eens and finally Caty Dehaene without the loss of a frame to secure victory. The win was her second successive Challenge Cup title of the season after she also won the equivalent event at last November’s Women’s Masters.

Perhaps Daughtery’s most impressive performance however was to come in the Under-21s competition as after defeating fellow English junior Zoe Killington in the last four, she then stunned world number 8 Nutcharut Wongharuthai in the final with a 2-0 victory to seal a title double.

The Seniors competition meanwhile saw Belgium’s Caty Dehaene claim her first WWS title following a 2-0 victory against Jane O’Neill of Spain. The veteran player, who last summer finished as runner-up to Wendy Jans at the European Women’s Championship in Bucharest, impressed with a high break of 46 during the weekend and is up into the world’s top 50 following this weekend.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Festival of Women’s Snooker from 12-15 April 2019. The event will see five individual World Championship titles contested across the four days, including Under-21, Seniors, 6-Red, 10-Red and Women’s doubles competitions.

 

Belgian Women’s Open 2019: Draw and Format Released

The draw and format for this weekend’s Belgian Women’s Open is now available:

The event is the fifth event of the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour season as we return to Belgium following last October’s European Women’s Masters in Neerpelt. The event sees several of the world’s top players including top ranked Ng On Yee, 11-time world champion Reanne Evans and home favourite Wendy Jans among the field.

We are also pleased to welcome six debutants to the event, including five local players who will be competing during the weekend.

Alongside the main tournament there will also be side-events for Under-21 and Seniors players, as well as a Challenge Cup event for players who have been knocked out of the main competition prior to the knockout rounds.

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team via our website.

Women to Compete at Snooker Shoot Out

It has today been announced that both Reanne Evans and Emma Parker will compete at the Shoot Out which will be staged at the Watford Colosseum from 21-24 February.

The pair, who both compete regularly on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, have been selected for the professional event among eight wildcard players for the first time and will join 126 other players looking to win the £32,000 top prize.

Dudley’s Evans will face 10-time ranking event winner Jimmy White in a mouth-watering tie during the evening session on Friday 22 February, while former world under-21 champion Parker will play India’s Laxman Rawat a day earlier.

The event will be televised live on Eurosport.

Prior to the event, both players will also be in action at the Belgian Open’s Open in Bruges from 1-3 February. Entries for that event are still being accepted HERE.

Rebecca on the Rise

Since 2005 there have been just two winners of the World Women’s Snooker Championship as leading stars Reanne Evans of England and Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee have firmly established themselves as the dominant forces in the sport.

There are now however signs that perhaps this long-standing duopoly on the World Women’s Snooker Tour could come to an end following the emergence of Keighley’s Rebecca Kenna, who has made rapid progress in the sport since her first event at the Eden Classic in March 2016. That year she reached the semi-finals of the World Women’s Snooker Championship at only her second event, a feat that she has since matched in both 2017 and 2018.

Kenna can also count three ranking finals among her achievements in the sport so far, including at this September’s LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship where she notably shocked eight-time UK queen Reanne Evans with a 3-2 win at the last 16 stage, her second ranking event victory against the player widely regarded as the best-ever woman to have picked up a cue.

Although she was able to follow-up her win with a dramatic black-ball 4-3 victory against highly-rated Thai youngster Nutcharut Wongharuthai, coming back from 3-1 down at one stage, Kenna eventually fell to world number one Ng On Yee in the title match. Nevertheless, it was a strong start to the season and enough to see her rise to a career-high equalling position of number three in the world rankings:

“I was very happy to reach the final of this season’s first ranking event,” said the 29-year-old. “My targets going into the season included to reach more finals [Kenna reached her first final at the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy] and hopefully to win one, so I was pleased to achieve that at the first event of season.”

Practice makes perfect

Since she first joined the tour back in 2016 the improvement in Kenna’s game has been significant, something that she credits to her increased time on the practice table, particularly since the opening of her own shop Cue Sports Yorkshire together with her husband Ash Kenna in September 2017:

“After competing in my first event I was keen to improve my game,” explained Kenna. “Before then I had never tried any practice routines or drills, so I had some coaching and followed drills from books and online and started to see improvements in my game.

“To compete with the top players you need to be on the table for a lot of hours, so I decided that I needed my own table. This came together with the idea for a cue sports shop and so last year we opened with a full-size installed which enables me to get as much practice as possible in between my work as a personal trainer.

“Practice is a pleasure for me, not a chore and I believe that since having my own table my game has improved tremendously. I am very competitive and love competing in tournaments so will thoroughly enjoy trying to better my ranking over the coming seasons!”

Global growth

The women’s circuit is currently enjoying a period of significant growth with the backing of snooker’s world governing body the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the introduction of new international ranking events in countries such as Malta, Belgium and Australia in 2018. With new opportunities both on the women’s tour itself and to compete at prestigious mixed gender events through the World Snooker Federation (WSF), Kenna is excited by the potential of the sport and to be able to follow in the footsteps of her professional heroes.

It was recently announced that this season’s World Women’s Snooker Championship will be held at the spectacular Dubai World Trade Centre in the U.A.E. for the first time, as part of the second WSF Championships following this year’s inaugural edition in Malta won by On Yee.

“I think that I have come into the women’s game at the right time,” continued Kenna. “I can see it growing at every event and also now with having more events abroad it’s a great opportunity to see the world and travel to places I wouldn’t have ever visited whilst playing a sport I love.

“I’m really excited to be heading to Dubai for next year’s World Championship. After being in Singapore and Malta during the last couple of years it will be another different experience and I’ve heard great things about Dubai so am looking forward to it.”

Kenna says that snooker helps her to de-stress and relax, but as well as playing the sport to a high-standard, she is also actively involved in snooker as a coach and recently gained her 1st4sport Level 2 Certificate in Snooker Coaching in Leeds, enjoying the ‘bonus’ of being able to complete the course with three-time professional ranking event winner Marco Fu earlier in the year.

As committed and determined to succeed in her snooker journey as anyone, she will be hoping that her maiden title on the World Women’s Snooker Tour is just around the corner and that she can be the one to break from the pack and truly challenge the feared top two on a regular basis.

Get involved!

Why not join Rebecca on the World Women’s Snooker Tour? With tournaments regularly held for women and girls of all ages, regardless of experience, you will be made to feel welcome by our experienced events team.

Learn how you can get involved and to enter your first event HERE. Whether you aspire to compete at an elite level or wish to play snooker and have a great time meeting new people, we would encourage all women to participate and to give snooker a try!

This article was originally published in the tournament programme for the English Open.

Belgian Women’s Open 2019: Enter Now

Entries are now being accepted for the Belgian Women’s Open as the World Women’s Snooker Tour heads back to Belgium next February.

The three-day event will take place from 1-3 February 2019 and will be played at The Trickshot club, situated in the centre of the historic city of Bruges.

Following victory for Reanne Evans at the European Women’s Masters back in October, the event marks our second trip to Belgium during the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour, which once again will see a full-ranking event staged, as well as side-events staged for under-21 and senior players.

The closing date for entries and payment of entry fees is 4:30pm GMT on Friday 25 January 2019.

Hotel / Shuttle information

There is an agreed rate in place with the Velotel Hotel Bruges (although players are free to stay at any hotel) and we are hoping to provide a shuttle service between this hotel and the venue during the event.

There will also be a shuttle service provided to/from three local airports courtesy of club owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team.

For full hotel/shuttle information download the full event entry pack here.