Tag: Jane O’Neill

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.