Tag: Emma Parker

Women’s Snooker: A Year of Opportunity

The appearance of Reanne Evans at the prestigious Champion of Champions tournament last month was the latest significant moment for women’s snooker during a year which has seen several new opportunities created for female players in our sport at all levels.

Sport for All

In recent years the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), through its subsidiary body World Women’s Snooker (WWS) has helped to create new opportunities for women and girls across the globe to engage with snooker and ultimately compete at the very top of the game.

With 145 players representing 28 different nationalities aged between 11 and 71 currently ranked on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, the circuit has grown significantly over the past 12 months and is now as diverse as it has ever been.

But as well as the women’s circuit, which primarily exists as a participation body with the goal of helping to encourage women and girls to pick up a cue and play, snooker is a rare example of an inclusive sport that can place both men and women on the same field of play on an equal basis. The World Snooker Tour is often erroneously referred to as the ‘men’s tour’ but in fact the professional circuit is mixed gender and as it has always been, open to any player who is able to qualify regardless of gender.

And this season we have seen just that, with women competing at the professional World Championship and 6-Red World Championship, in addition to the highlights detailed below.

Shoot Out Stars

History was made at the Snooker Shoot Out back in February where the record-breaking Reanne Evans and top ranked junior Emma Parker became the first women to compete at the televised stages of a ranking event in England live on Eurosport.

For both the experience was a new one, the quickfire contest having a significantly different feel to it with a shot clock, timed matches, a different dress code and boisterous crowd encouraged to get involved during the frames. Although neither player was able to win their matches, both performed well and took a lot from the experience.

“I felt really proud and honoured to represent women snooker players.”, said Parker. “It gave me the chance to show that women can play snooker and it was fantastic that both Reanne and my matches were televised which is great promotion for the game. I hope that in the future more women s tournaments will be televised and hopefully it will become as big as other women’s sports like athletics, tennis and football.

“I would love to do it again if I was given the opportunity. It would help me with my career in snooker giving me the confidence I need to carry on in the game I love playing.”

Maximum Mink

It would be just weeks later when women’s snooker witnessed another first as Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai became the first female player to compile a verified perfect 147 break during a practice match at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok.

The feat followed an already successful start to the season for the then 19-year-old, who has since gone on to establish herself as one of the world’s leading female players, recently claiming her first ranking event victory at the Australian Women’s Open and climbing to a career-high third in the official world rankings.

Record World Championship

It was at the Hi-End Snooker Club where the World Women’s Snooker Tour would go on to stage its biggest World Women’s Championship for a generation in June as 53 players from 13 countries descended upon the world class venue for a fantastic week of snooker.

While several faces both familiar and new were able to make their mark, including 11-year-old Ksenia Zhukova of Russia who won two matches and Nutcharut Wongharuthai who was able to reach her first world final, it would be England’s Reanne Evans who would go on to win her record-extending 12th world crown and first since 2016.

Crucible Chance

There would be further success for Evans at the inaugural Women’s Tour Championship as women’s snooker returned to the home of snooker – Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre – for the first time in over 16 years this August.

The new event, held as part of this year’s World Seniors Championship, saw the top four ranked women players compete live on television at the most iconic venue in our sport. Ultimately it would be Evans and Ng On Yee who would contest the final, with Evans taking home the trophy and helping to further raise awareness of women’s snooker at the same time.

Champion of Champions

Most recently it was Reanne who would again fly the flag for women’s snooker as she qualified to play at the invitational Champion of Champions tournament following her victory at the World Women’s Championship in Thailand.

There she would face former triple-crown winner Shaun Murphy live on ITV4, recovering from 3-0 down to force a deciding-frame, before Murphy dug deep with a break of 130 to progress. Nevertheless, her appearance once again attracted significant media exposure and demonstrated that women can compete with men in our sport.

2020 Vision

Of course, while women’s snooker is currently enjoying an upward trajectory, both the WPBSA and WWS remain committed to increasing participation among women players by providing more opportunities at grassroots and professional level for females to compete.

The continued growth of the World Women’s Snooker Tour, which this year has welcomed players from countries including Morocco (who also competed at the African Games in August), Iran and Japan for the first time, demonstrates that women can play our sport to a high standard and that there is no reason why we cannot one day see women competing regularly with the world’s best.

World Women’s Rankings – UK Women’s Championship 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the first time during the 2019/20 season after Reanne Evans made a winning start to the new season with victory at the UK Women’s Snooker Championship last weekend.

The WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2017/18 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2017 Paul Hunter Women’s Classic and 2017 UK Women’s Championship were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at the Northern Snooker Centre this month.

Evans Extends Lead

Reanne Evans has significantly increased her lead at the top of the world women’s ranking list from 16,850 points to a commanding 24,350 points following her record ninth victory at this year’s UK Women’s Championship in Leeds.

With both players defending the same amount of points from the corresponding time period two years ago, victory for Evans combined with On Yee not competing in this year’s event results in a net gain of 7,500 points for the reigning world champion.

From now until the end of the season both players have a similar amount of points to come off their totals after the leading pair dominated the 2017/18 season and so Evans is now well-placed to retain the top ranking for the foreseeable future.

The Top 10

Away from the top two, Laura Evans has leapfrogged Maria Catalano into fifth position, despite Catalano reaching her first ranking final in 18 months last weekend. This is because she was defending 8,550 ranking points from both the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic and UK Women’s Championship events in 2017, while Evans missed the German event in 2017 and so had just 3,750 to be removed from her total this week.

Nevertheless, with the majority of her total points to be removed over the coming season following a difficult period for Catalano off the table, her final run this week is a timely boost as she looks to retain her top eight ranking.

Also on the rise inside the top 10 is Hornchurch youngster Emma Parker, who climbs one place to a career-high eighth position after she reached the quarter-finals of the season-opening event in Leeds. With relatively few points to defend from two years ago compared to those ranked immediately above her, there is every chance that the 20-year-old can make further gains still over the next few months.

On the Rise

Elsewhere, there were gains for Hong Kong’s Jaique Ip Wan In who climbs four places to 13th, while players including Jackie Ellis and Connie Stephens are up to new career-highs of 16th and 21st positions respectively.

Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong is also up four places to 26th after she reached her maiden ranking event semi-final in Leeds and with no points to defend from her total during the remainder of the season will be targeting further gains over the next few months.

There is a new career-high of 35th for 13-year-old Zoe Killington after she reached the last 16 stage for a first time, representing a gain of 10 places, while  Chrissy Allwood jumps to 45th and debutants Jodie Lockett, Mariia Shevchenko and Hind Bennani are all up to tied 64th after reaching the knockout rounds.

Under-21 / Seniors

Victory for Emma Parker sees her successfully retain top spot on the Under-21 ranking list, with runner-up Steph Daughtery remaining on her heels in second position. Former world under-21 champion Nutcharut Wongharuthai climbs one place to third after 2017 runner-up Shannon Metcalf was unable to defend her points last weekend due to a knee injury.

Meanwhile the new Seniors rankings announced earlier this summer reflects the results of last weekend’s side-tournament with Jan Hughes becoming its first number one after her title triumph in Leeds.

Please note that for this season ranking points in the Under-21 and Seniors rankings will be awarded in accordance with the new side-events points schedule available HERE.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Australian Women’s Open from 17-20 October 2019.

Evans Claims Record Ninth UK Crown

Reanne Evans has defeated Maria Catalano 4-2 to capture the UK Women’s Snooker Championship for a record-extending ninth time at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

The victory sees the world number one maintain her current 11-month unbeaten run on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, which has now seen her claim seven consecutive titles and is her first UK success since 2016.

Having started her campaign with a win against Zoe Killington, 33-year-old Evans survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Fong Mei Mei at the quarter-final stage before coming through a 3-2 winner. She then comfortably defeated namesake Laura Evans in the semi-finals to reach an unprecedented 12th UK final.

There she would face close friend Maria Catalano, who previously won the event back in 2012 and had reached the final on a further five previous occasions prior to 2019. The current world number five defeated Connie Stephens on Saturday before surviving hard-fought matches with promising youngsters Emma Parker and Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong to progress to her first final since the 2018 World Women’s Championship in Malta.

It was Catalano who made the stronger start to the final to lead 1-0 and 2-1, before Evans snatched what would prove to be a pivotal fourth frame on the black to level the scores. From there she began to take control of the match, taking the fifth frame to lead for the first time before comfortably adding the sixth to crown victory.

“It was patchy this weekend, but I felt good even when I played bad so I knew it [form] was there,” said Evans. “Overall I am really pleased, to play Maria in the final again was good. It is always a bit awkward to play against your best mate, but I’m just glad to see her back after last year [Maria lost her father shortly before the same event in 2018] so this one is for her. She didn’t want to enter and we sort of made her treat it as a holiday, but she relaxed and to be fair she played a little bit better than me. I just dug in there and waited for my chances.”

For Evans the event followed her appearance at the SangSom 6-Red World Championship last week in Thailand, as she returned to the site of her record 12th world title success earlier this summer.

“It has only been the last day or so that I have actually slept well, then I got here and didn’t sleep,” continued Evans. “But it was brilliant to be back in Thailand and to be part of an event like that. I’m just happy to be playing in all of these different events now before I get too old!”

The tournament saw 32 players travel from across the world to compete including from Hong Kong, Morocco and Russia as the World Women’s Snooker Tour continues to grow. The high break was a fantastic run of 105 compiled by champion Evans during the second frame of her quarter-final win.

Side-events

Emma Parker shrugged off the disappointment of her narrow quarter-final defeat in the main competition to claim the UK Women’s Under-21 title for the second time in three years with a 2-0 win against Steph Daughtery.

The current junior number one defeated Zoe Killington and then Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in a tight semi-final, before overcoming 2015 and 2016 champion Daughtery to seal victory.

There was also a new winner in the Seniors side-event as Jan Hughes claimed her first over-40s tournament since since 2012 following a 2-1 win against Bugsie Cothier. Hughes defeated Michelle Baker before inflicting a first seniors defeat upon Jenny Poulter since April 2017 to reach the final, before edging out first-time finalist Cothier to claim the title.

The Challenge Cup side-event for players who had exited the main competition prior to the quarter-finals was won by Jaique Ip of Hong Kong, who defeated Morocco’s Hind Bennani who became the first African to compete on the WWS circuit during the weekend. Ip began with victories against Charlee Blair-McDonough, Jackie Ellis and Jenny Poulter, before scoring a 2-0 victory against Bennani for the title.

The next stop on the World Women’s Snooker Tour will be the Australian Women’s Open, which will run from 17-20 October 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Enter online now via the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council website HERE.

World Women’s Snooker Rankings Review 2018/19

Following her record 12th world title success last week at the Hi-End Snooker Club in Bangkok, England’s Reanne Evans consolidated her grip on top spot in the world ranking list following her incredible six-title season.

But what have been the other significant movements during a season which has seen the total number of ranked players grow from 87 to 129, with an incredible 22 nationalities now represented?

Like the professional World Snooker Tour, the WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 replaced by those from this season over the past 12 months.

Number one

The big move during the campaign came at April’s Festival of Women’s Snooker in Leeds when Evans reclaimed top spot on the world ranking list for the first time since February 2018 following her double title success at the event.

In fact it is a measure of how strong a season Evans enjoyed that having begun the season some 5,850 points behind Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, she has now ended it with a significant lead of 16,850 points.

With both players having banked a similar amount of points during the 2017/18 season and those points due to be deducted from their respective totals over the course of the coming 12 months, Evans looks well-placed to retain the top ranking for some time to come.

Following her victories at the UK Women’s Championship and the Australian Women’s Open however, On Yee does continue to hold a comfortable second position, the top two having now locked out all of the ranking titles for a second successive season.

The top eight

Behind the top two Keighley’s Rebecca Kenna is up one place to third from her season-start position after she reached two ranking finals before Christmas.

Hot on her heels is World Championship runner-up Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who is the sole new entrant to the top eight from the start of the season, having surged up the list from 17th place a year ago. The 19-year-old now has a real chance to close the gap to the top three with no points to be removed from her total until 2020 because she did not compete during the opening half of the 2017/18 campaign.

Down two is Maria Catalano following a difficult campaign undoubtedly affected by off-table issues including the passing of her father last year, with Wales’ Laura Evans a place behind with quarter-final runs at the Women’s Masters and Belgian Women’s Open her best performances.

Suzie Opacic remains in seventh position with a semi-final run at the Women’s Masters representing her best performance, while Australian Women’s Open Katrina Wan is down two to eighth having not competed since her run in Sydney.

On the rise

Poised to join the elite top eight next season is Hornchurch youngster Emma Parker, up six places to ninth following a career-best season and now well within striking distance of Wan above her who is not currently competing on the Tour.

Also moving up is Wakefield’s Steph Daughtery who claimed back-to-back Challenge Cup victories mid-season, while Thailand’s Waratthanun Sukritthanes finished the campaign up in 15th position despite only competing at the Festival and World Championship events at the end of the season.

In fact it was quite a year for Thai players as both Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and Baipat Siripaporn both soared up the list, Laokiatphong up into the top 30 having only made her Tour debut last September, with Siripaporn right behind her in 31st after reaching the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time.

Belgium’s Wendy Jans also became an increasingly familiar face, competing in three ranking events and reaching the semi-finals of each to vault 19 places up the list into the top 16.

The future

While Reanne Evans will take some stopping at the top of the rankings, behind her there are a number of players with positive momentum who have fewer points to defend than those around them.

Already mentioned above, Nutcharut Wongharuthai will have her sights set on the top three while others placed higher on the unofficial one-year list for the 2018/19 campaign, than their positions on the official two-year ranking list include Emma Parker (5th), Wendy Jans (7th), Steph Daughtery (8th) and Jaique Ip Wan In (10th).

Conversely, players who could face a drop down the ranking list having earned significantly fewer points than the previous season having missed out on events include Maria Catalano (19th), Diana Schuler (16th), Aimee Benn (26th) and Jenny Poulter (27th).

The 2019/20 World Women’s Snooker Tour is set to begin with the all-new Women’s Tour Championship invitational event at the Crucible Theatre on 17th August, prior to the first ranking event, the UK Women’s Championship a month later in Leeds. Further details of additional events will be announced soon.

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.

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.

Junior Stars Boost Women’s Snooker

As the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour reaches its midway point, today we highlight the achievements of a number of our talented Under-21 players who have set significant career milestones already this season.

Whether it be career-best performances or new career high rankings, it has already been a memorable season for several junior players who have shone so far this term, as encapsulated at the recent Eden Women’s Masters which saw four players aged 19 or younger progress to the quarter-finals against experienced opposition.

Below we turn the spotlight on a few of the players who have shown their potential already so far this season, in no particular order…

Emma Parker

It has already been a landmark season for 19-year-old Emma Parker, who has twice broken new ground in recent months on the WWS circuit with career-best performances at two events.

Competing at the European Women’s Masters in Neerpelt, the youngster from Hornchurch reached her first ranking event quarter-final, notably defeating Thai star Nutcharut Wongharuthai in the first of three meetings during the weekend to top her group. She then recorded a 3-2 victory against former world championship quarter-finalist Diana Stateczny to progress to the last eight, where  Wongharuthai would turn the tables with a 3-0 win.

Parker however would have the last laugh during the weekend, a 2-0 success in the final of the Under-21 event in Belgium to not only claim her fourth junior title, but one that saw her climb to the top of the Under-21 ranking list for the first time ever.

Her biggest success to date a month later in Gloucester however as she defeated Stephanie Daughtery and then world number six Laura Evans 3-2 to reach her maiden ranking semi-final. Although she would lose out to eventual champion Reanne Evans, her performance saw her reach another significant milestone as she broke into the top 10 of the world women’s rankings for the first time.

Nutcharut Wongharuthai

Also achieving this feat earlier in the season was the prodigious Nutcharut Wongharuthai, another 19-year-old who looks to have a big future in the sport in front of her.

Having competed at the mixed gender SangSom 6-Red World Championship in her home country back in September, the Bangkok native made a strong start to her campaign on the World Women’s Snooker Tour by reaching the semi-finals of the UK Women’s Championship in Leeds, narrowly losing out a black-ball game to Rebecca Kenna. She would at least have the consolation of claiming her third Under-21 title with a 2-1 victory over Shannon Metcalf.

Better was to come in Belgium however as she stunned Ng On Yee at the last 16 stage before taking the scalp of home hero Wendy Jans in the semi-finals with a 4-2 victory to progress to her second ranking final. Just as at the first, the result would be a defeat to 11-time world champion Reanne Evans but her performance was enough to see her break into the top 10 for the first time.

Another semi-final run would follow at the Australian Women’s Open in Sydney later in the month, On Yee this time gaining the upper hand on her way to her latest title, but Wongharuthai – or Mink as she is better known – had done enough to end 2018 at a career-high ninth position and with a reputation as one of the most talented players on tour.

Shannon Metcalf

But while Parker and Wongharuthai have grabbed a number of the headlines, also among the silverware so far this season have been Shannon Metcalf and Stephanie Daughtery.

For Metcalf, the start of the season saw the 16-year-old broke her title duck by taking the Challenge Cup title at the UK Women’s Championship with a 3-2 victory against world number seven Suzie Opacic.

Having previously lost six side-event finals, Metcalf then made it a title double at the Eden Women’s Masters by defeating Stephanie Daughtery 2-0 to capture her first Under-21 title and secure a return to top spot in the Under-21 rankings having fallen behind Emma Parker at the previous event. She also made it through to her second-ever ranking event quarter-final in Gloucester to underline the development made with her game in recent months.

Stephanie Daughtery

Despite losing out to Metcalf in Gloucester, it was nevertheless a weekend to remember for Stephanie Daughtery after the 17-year-old captured her third side-event title by claiming the Challenge Cup with victory against ninth ranked Diana Schuler of Germany.

Perhaps the most memorable moment for the youngster from Wakefield however came in the under-21 event where she earned a hard-fought win against Emma Parker in the semi-finals, turning the tables after losing her previous four matches to Parker since the start of the 2017/18 season.

Career bests

It is not just the title winners who have shown promise however, 11th ranked Aimee Benn reached only her second ever ranking event quarter-final at the Eden Masters recently, while Chloe White achieved a new career-high ranking of 22nd after the Hampshire potter progressed to the last eight of a ranking tournament for the first time in Gloucester. Wakefield’s Claire Edginton too has reached three side-event semi-finals in 2018, including at her first two events during the current season.

Debut stars

As well as our regular players in recent years we are also delighted to have welcomed new players this season who have also impressed. Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in particular made an immediate impact with a shock 2-1 victory against world number three Rebecca Kenna at the UK Women’s Championship on her debut in September, eventually losing out to top ranked Ng On Yee at the quarter-final stage.

And most recently we welcomed 12-year-old Zoe Killington to the Eden Women’s Masters, the Merseysider impressively winning two frames against significantly more experienced players to demonstrate her potential.

Cue case prize

Earlier this season we announced the creation of a new award for the 2018/19 season which will see our Under-21 Player of the Year receive a special cue case donated by RR Cue Cases in recognition of their achievements.

If you want to get involved and potentially stake your claim for what is set to be a fabulous prize, why not learn more about how you can join the World Women’s Snooker Tour and our thriving junior circuit HERE.

World Women’s Rankings – Eden Women’s Masters 2018 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the final time in 2018 as the season reached its midway point following victory for Reanne Evans at the Eden Women’s Masters last weekend.

The WLBS 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 Eden Women’s Masters (Derby) were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at this year’s event held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.

Evans closes the gap

Reanne Evans has closed the gap to Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee to 7,050 points following her record fifth triumph at the Eden Women’s Masters last weekend.

Having entered the event 10,800 points behind her Asian rival, Evans duly maximised her opportunity to home in on the current world number one with On Yee not competing at the tournament.

Interestingly, although she claimed the maximum 7,500 points on offer by taking the title in Gloucester, the gap between the top two has only narrowed by 3,750 points as we head towards the Christmas break. This is because Evans was defending maximum points at the corresponding event in January 2017, while On Yee only reached the quarter-finals of that event in Derby, meaning that she had fewer points to defend at this update.

With 10,400 more points to defend than Evans between now and the end of the season however, On Yee must have a strong finish to the season if she is to retain her number one ranking next summer.

The top 10

Elsewhere there was a new entry to the top 10 as Emma Parker climbs four places to 10th following her maiden semi-final appearance in Gloucester. The 19-year-old replaces Aimee Benn, who herself had a positive weekend reaching only her second quarter-final, but was defending last 16 points from two seasons ago.

With no points to be removed from her total however, having not competed in the corresponding event in January 2017, Parker gains 3,750 points as she continues her rise up the ranking list from 22nd position 12 months ago. In fact only six players have earned more points than her so far this season meaning that if she can maintain her current form then she has a real chance to rise further still.

Otherwise the top 10 remains stable, players including Rebecca Kenna (3), Laura Evans (6) and Suzie Opacic (7) consolidating their positions having all reached the quarter-final stage or better at the Eden Women’s Masters.

Rise and fall

Outside of the top ten, there are career-high positions for Hong Kong trio Ho Yee Ki (12), Fong Mei Mei (17) and Pui Ying Mini Chu (18), who despite not competing in Gloucester have gained positions because they were not defending points from 2017.

Also setting a new high watermark in their respective careers are players including Chloe White (22), who reached her first quarter-final at the weekend and Jackie Ellis (23), after she reached the knockout rounds for the first time.

A little further down the list both Yvette Greenway (39) and Connie Stephens (40) have broken into the top 40 for the first time having also made it through to the last 16, while there are three new entries on the list as the circuit continues to expand.

With players on the rise it is inevitable that others have dropped down the list, most notably So Man Yan (24) who is down seven places following the expiration of her points from reaching the final of the event two years ago.

Others to have slipped down are Jenny Poulter (down four) and notably Vicky Shirley, a quarter-finalist in Derby who has played only one event since which sees her drop to 90th position on the latest list.

Under-21

For the second time in three events there is a change at the head of the under-21 rankings after Shannon Metcalf captured her first Under-21 title to reclaim top spot at the expense of Emma Parker.

Stephanie Daughtery consolidated third position after an impressive win against Parker at the semi-finals stage of Gloucester’s junior event, although she would ultimately finish as tournament runner-up to Metcalf.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return in 2019.

World Women’s Rankings – European Women’s Masters 2018 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the second time this season following victory for Reanne Evans at the European Women’s Masters in Belgium last weekend.

The WLBS 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, no points were removed from the ranking list as there was no corresponding event two years ago, with just points added from the European Women’s Masters at De Maxx.

Evans closes the gap

After Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee dramatically extended her lead at the top of the world ranking list with her victory at the season-opening UK Women’s Championship, second ranked Reanne Evans has now narrowed the gap following her latest title success.

With On Yee’s early exit to Nutcharut Wongharuthai at the last 16 stage in Neerpelt, combined with the first silverware of the season for Evans, the 11-time world champion has closed to just 7,050 points behind, compared to 13,612 heading into Belgium.

Elsewhere Keighley’s Rebecca Kenna consolidated third place with her run to the semi-finals, with closest challenger Maria Catalano not competing in the event and therefore unable to add to her total.

The remaining positions inside the top eight are unchanged, but there is a new entrant to the top 10 as 18-year-old Nutcharut Wongharuthai climbs two places to a career-high ninth following her second appearance in a ranking final. Since joining the tour as a regular player back at February’s UK Open, only the top three have gained more ranking points than the talented Thai player who has just 3,300 to be removed from her total during the next 12 months and is on course to continue moving up the list.

Ranking risers

Outside of the top 10, there is a new career-high of 13th for Emma Parker after the 19-year-old reached her first ranking quarter-final in Belgium, while former world number three Jaique Ip also climbs two places to 12th after she also reached the last eight.

Hong Kong’s Ho Yee Ki also rises one place to a new personal best of 16th position, while Germany’s Diana Stateczny re-enters the top 30 after she reached the last 16 stage.

There is a leap of 14 places for home favourite and our host last weekend at De Maxx, Wendy Jans, who is now ranked 31st following her run to the semi-finals.

Finally, Australia’s Judy Dangerfield also moves to a new career-high of 44th after she reached the knockout stages at her second ranking event.

Under-21 rankings

There was a change at the top of the Under-21 rankings in Belgium as Emma Parker ascended to top spot following her fourth Under-21 title victory during the past 18 months.

Having come into the tournament just 300 points behind 16-year-old Shannon Metcalf, Parker defeated the youngster 2-1 in the round robin stages of the European Women’s Masters Under-21 event before defeating Nutcharut Wongharuthai 2-0 in the final to clinch the title.

Parker now sits 3,450 points clear of Metcalf at the top of the list and with fewer points to defend compared to the Leeds-based youngster during the remainder of the season has a good opportunity to remain there for the immediate future.

Further down the list, Thailand’s Wongharuthai climbs two places to fifth following her final appearance with Aimee Benn next in her sights.

The next ranking event will be the WLBS Australian Women’s Open 2018, which will be held for the first time at Mounties in Sydney, Australia from 25-28 October 2018. Enter now online HERE.

Evans Above at European Women’s Masters

England’s Reanne Evans lifted her first silverware of the 2018/19 World Women’s Snooker Tour season with a 4-1 victory against Nutcharut Wongharuthai last weekend.

The 11-time world champion and current world number two came into the tournament on the back of a surprise last 16 exit at last month’s UK Women’s Championship, but it was to be a different story at De Maxx club in Neerpelt as she dropped just one frame on her way to the title.

Following victories against Caty Dehaene and Ho Yee Ki, she then avenged her defeat to Rebecca Kenna in Leeds with a dominant 4-0 victory against the world number three in the semi-finals.

For the second time in 2018 it was not long-time rival Ng On Yee who would await her in the final, but instead Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai who once again underlined her credentials as a star of the future this weekend.

Following her progress through the group stages she stunned reigning world champion On Yee with a 3-1 success, before adding the scalps of Emma Parker and home favourite and 12-time EBSA European champion Wendy Jans with a 4-2 semi-final victory.

In a cagey final however it was to be Evans who proved too strong, winning the final three frames from 1-1 to add another ranking title to her already unrivalled CV. Victory also sees Evans significantly close the gap to Ng On Yee at the top of the world rankings ahead of this month’s Australian Women’s Open in Sydney.

For the defeated Wongharuthai she has the consolation of having broken into the world’s top ten for the first time following her final run, a status that few would be surprised to see her retain for some time to come.

Side-events

Despite her unexpected early exit in the main competition the weekend, world number one Ng On Yee would not leave Belgium empty-handed following her success in the Challenge Cup side-event.

A competition open to players who had not reached the quarter-finals of the main competition, the event saw an unusually strong field with four of the world’s top eight players all in action during the final two days.

Following victories against Laura Evans, Diana Schuler and Diana Stateczny, On Yee saw off fellow Hong Kong player Katrina Wan in the final to claim victory.

In the Under-21 competition there was success for England’s Emma Parker who shrugged off the disappointment of losing to Nutcharut Wongharuthai in her first-ever ranking event quarter-final to turn the tables on the Thai player with a 2-0 final victory and win her fourth junior event.

The win also sees Parker achieve a significant milestone as she rises to top spot on the WLBS Under-21 ranking list ahead of Shannon Metcalf for the first time in her career.

Finally there was also victory for India’s Chitra Magimairaj in the Seniors side-event after she defeated Australia’s Judy Dangerfield 3-1 in the final. The success is the first for Magimairaj on the World Women’s Snooker Tour since the 2016 World Championship Seniors competition.

World Ladies Billiards and Snooker extends its thanks to all players and supporters who attended the event, in particular Wendy Jans (and her father Guy) who as the owner of De Maxx was a fantastic host and could not have been more accommodating of the event.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour continues later this month with the inaugural Australian Women’s Open which runs in Sydney on 25-28 October 2018. The deadline for entries remains open until Saturday 13 October – enter HERE at the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council website.