With the World Women’s Snooker Tour (WWS) set to return to Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years this weekend, today we take a look ahead to a fantastic weekend of snooker at the Scottish Women’s Open.
With a bumper field of 41 entries from 13 countries set to descend upon The Q Club in Glasgow, the entry represents the largest field for a ranking event since the 2000 Connie Gough Trophy, underlining the continued growth of the Tour.
Since its opening night on 13 July 1981 which featured the late great Willie Thorne against former Scottish player Ian Black, The Q Club has become established as Glasgow’s premier snooker venue with 15 snooker tables and a large hospitality area available for all players and guests.
The venue is set to see a high-quality display of women’s snooker throughout the weekend with 11 of the world’s top 12 in the draw, alongside several other talented players including former Scottish Masters finalist Tessa Davidson, 2019 World Cup winner Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan, former world under-21 champion Jasmine Bolsover, two-time side-event champion Shannon Metcalf and English Open finalist Chrissy Allwood.
There will also be eight players from Scotland among the field, including world number 50 Sophie Nix and the returning Deborah Fladgate, who will compete in her first tournament since the 2019 Eden Masters.
To the draw…
With an extra large field set to compete across the weekend, the world’s top five players have all been seeded through to Sunday’s last 16 stage to await Saturday’s qualifiers.
With no defending champion present in the draw, reigning world champion Mink Nutcharut will be installed as top seed, with world number one Reanne Evans positioned in the opposite half as second seed.
The seeded players will be completed by three-time world champion Ng On Yee, England’s Rebecca Kenna and Jamie Hunter, who will be chasing a third consecutive ranking title following triumphs in the United States and Australia in recent months.
Welsh number one Laura Evans leads the way in Group A and will make her third appearance in Scotland having notably reached the last 16 of the Scottish Masters in 2002.
Following a strong start to the season which saw her reach the quarter-finals of the UK Championship in July, she is set to begin her campaign against world number 52 Chrissy Allwood, a finalist at the recent EPSB English Women’s Open in Leicester.
Completing the group are Scottish debutants Mhairi Mackay and Louise Foster.
Ploychompoo Laokiatphong is one of several players ready to make their debut in Scotland at this weekend’s tournament and will be looking to consolidate her position inside the world’s top ten with semi-final points to defend at next month’s Eden Women’s Masters.
The Thai talent will open a multi-national group which features England’s Cheryl Calverley, Ukraine’s Tetyana Volovelska and Scottish debutant Sarah Milne, who will be competing in her first WWS tournament.
Group C will be headed by recent US Open semi-finalist Mary Talbot-Deegan, who will be making her fourth appearance in Scotland having previously reached the quarter-finals of the Scottish Masters back in 1996.
Among those standing between her and a place in the knockout rounds will be talented 17-year-old Chloe Payne, England’s Louise Burton, as well as Scottish debutant Pauline Duffie.
Germany’s Diana Schuler is the highest ranked player in Group D and will be looking to build upon her career-best quarter-final run at August’s US Women’s Open in Seattle.
She will face English duo Sarah Dunn and Emma Brown, as well as Scotland’s Deborah Fladgate who makes her second appearance on Tour having travelled to London to compete at the Eden Masters in 2019.
On paper perhaps the toughest group of the round is Group E, which will be headlined by world number 10 Steph Daughtery who will be making her debut on Scottish soil this weekend.
She will be joined by Jasmine Bolsover – who came within a ball of a shock 3-0 victory against world champion Mink Nutcharut at the season-opening UK Championship, as well as Thailand’s Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan, who continues her increased playing schedule during the 2022 year.
The group will be competed by Dalia Alska of Poland, who has become a regular competitor on the Tour during the past 12 months.
Group F is led by 19th ranked Zoe Killington who has reached the knockout rounds of all but one tournament that she has competed in following the resumption of competition following the global pandemic last September.
She is joined by Lynn Shi of China and Annamaria Wilkins of Hungary, as well as Tour debutant Keerath Bhandaal who will be the sole Indian representative at the competition.
England’s Connie Stephens is set to play in her first ranking tournament in Scotland this weekend and will be targeting a place in the knockout rounds having earned a seeding for the competition.
She is part of a group that features the returning Jeongmin Park of South Korea, who will play her first ranking event tournament within the UK in over five years, having since also played in the Australian Women’s Open twice.
The section also features Kate Le Gallez of Guernsey, alongside Laura Killington, who will be competing in her first tournament since she turned 14 earlier this month.
Group H is led by England’s Tessa Davidson, who is the most experienced player in the field at Scottish ranking events, having competed in six previous tournaments north of the border.
Seeded in the main draw for the first time since her return to competitive action back in January, Davidson will be targeting a strong performance to continue her ascent up the world ranking list.
She will be joined in the group by two-time ranking event quarter-finalist Aimee Benn, as well as highest ranked Scottish player Sophie Nix and debutant Agnieszka Thomson.
The ninth and final group to be completed on Saturday is headlined by world number six Emma Parker, who will be hoping to build upon her run to a fourth career ranking event semi-final at the US Open in August.
Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and Tessa Davidson will be hoping to extend their dominance in the Under-21 and Seniors competitions respectively, having each dominated the categories so far in 2022.
Top seeded Laokiatphong will be going for a fourth consecutive junior crowd in a seven player field, while Davidson will be going for her fifth in a row, with an impressive 11 players (including four debutants) set to battle it out for the title.
The action gets underway this Saturday from 10:00am with the latest match results and standings available via WPBSA SnookerScores.