World number one Reanne Evans claimed the LITEtask UK Ladies Championship for a record eighth time yesterday, defeating Latvia’s Tatjana Vasiljeva 5-1 in the final.
The pair met for the second time in 2016 at the Northern Snooker Centre, following their World Championship semi-final at the venue back in April. Evans had already had to come through against Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee 4-3 in a hard-fought semi-final, while Vasiljeva was appearing in the final of a singles competition for the first time at a World Ladies Billiards and Snooker (WLBS) event.
It was Evans though who made the faster start, winning the opening three frames with a high break of 56 to take control of the match from an early stage. Vasiljeva won the last prior to the mid-session interval with a clearance from brown to black, but on their resumption it was Evans who swiftly won the next two to close out the match and clinch her first UK title since 2011.
“I’m happy to win the tournament for an eighth time,” said Evans. “It has been a long day with some hard matches and I am happy that I was able to come through. It’s a great to have won my first competition of the season.
“I’m lacking a little bit of match practice at the minute, but I’m going to try and enter a few EASB events which will hopefully sharpen me up a bit ahead of the upcoming tournaments.”
The 30-year-old was also keen to acknowledge the support of tournament sponsors LITEtask for their continued support of the ladies game, as well as the Paul Hunter Foundation for their contribution to this event.
For beaten finalist Vasiljeva it was nevertheless a strong tournament overall and she was pleased to have come through a strong field to reach her first WLBS final .
“I enjoyed the weekend a lot,” said Vasiljeva, who earlier this season competed in the Riga Masters against Marco Fu as a wildcard. “In the final I felt a bit tired because it has been a long day, but I am happy to have reached the final of this event for the first time. Hopefully next time will be even better!
“I started to play a bit better at the end of the match than at the beginning. It was not a case of pressure but I felt tired and also of course Reanne is a good player and it is difficult to come back after the start.”
Alongside the main competition, there was success in the Challenge Cup event for Hong Kong’s So Man Yan, who defeated Sharon Kaur 3-0 to claim the title. Kaur also reached the final of the seniors’ competition, but again came up short against the experienced Jenny Poulter.
The under-21s final was won by 15-year-old Stephanie Daughtery, the Wakefield youngster running out a 3-0 winner against local prospect Shannon Metcalf.
Mark Pears, of tournament sponsor LITEtask said: “It’s great to be involved with the ladies game because it is improving all of the time. Tatjana has made her first final here and there are some young players who every time you watch them, they are improving year by year.
“Snooker is a great game. I love all cue sports and to be involved is good for LITEtask and it’s good for the game.”
The next tournament of the 2016/17 WLBS Women’s World Ranking Series will be the Eden Ladies Open Championship, which takes place on 14-15 January 2017 at the Cueball, Derby.