Jamie Hunter has won the Australian Women’s Snooker Open for the first time after a thrilling 4-3 victory against Jessica Woods at the Mounties Club in Sydney.
Victory for the English player marks her second consecutive triumph on the World Women’s Snooker Tour (WWS) following her victory at the US Open in August and underlines her status as one of the most improved players during the past 12 months.
She becomes the third different winner of the tournament since 2018, following in the footsteps of Ng On Yee and Mink Nutcharut as an Australian Open champion.
The success will see her rise one place in the updated world rankings to a new career-high position of number five.
For Woods it has nevertheless been a career-best week on the WWS circuit, having reached her first ranking event final at just her seventh attempt, with quarter-final runs at the same event in 2018 and 2019 representing her previous best.
The 29-year-old also became the first Australian player – and only the 15th ever overall – to compile a century break on the WWS Tour earlier in the event, following a majestic run of 120 during the group stages against Lilly Meldrum.
Staged for the first time since 2019, the four day event began with an initial group phase which saw the top two seeds Hunter and Woods make comfortable progress, with the talented Meldrum the only player able to take a frame from either during her match with Woods.
In the knockout rounds Hunter dropped her first frame of the competition against Australia’s Joey Tohme on her way to a 3-1 victory, before she recorded a 4-0 win against 14-year-old Lilly Meldrum in the last four to reach the final.
It was a similar story for Woods who defeated Xuejun Alice Wu 3-1 to break new ground and reach the semi-finals of a WWS ranking tournament for the first time, which she followed up with a 4-0 success against Japan’s Miina Tani to reach her maiden final.
The title match would prove to be a hard-fought contest with Woods taking the opener on the colours, before dominating the second to claim an early 2-0 lead.
Back came Hunter, who took the next two to draw level at 2-2, before moving into the lead for the first time at 3-2 with a break of 41.
Woods – who was celebrating her 29th birthday on finals day – claimed the sixth to take the match to a deciding-frame, but Hunter was not to be denied as she finished in style with a match-high break of 51 to claim victory and become champion in Sydney.
WWS would like to thank its partners in Australia, in particular the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council and the Mounties Club, without both of whom the staging of the event, as well as all of the players who travelled to compete.
The WWS Tour returns later this month with the Scottish Women’s Open, which will be held at The Q Club in Glasgow for the first time from 22-23 October 2022. Learn more and enter the event now!