Tag: Ng On Yee

Griffiths Reflects on Decade of Success in Hong Kong

In recent years, the World Women’s Snooker Tour has become one of the most cosmopolitan series of events in our sport with players from across the globe regularly competing in our tournaments.

One region in particular that has played a significant role in the internationalisation of the tour has been Hong Kong, with several players based at its Sports Institute (HKSI) including our three-time world champion Ng On Yee having competed in tournaments over the past decade.

A driving force behind providing opportunities for female players in Hong Kong has been Wayne Griffiths – son of former world champion Terry Griffiths and qualified WPBSA Snooker Coach – who this September will celebrate his tenth anniversary since becoming HKSI Head Coach.

Laying the Foundations

Together with his team, including Alan Wong and David Roe who will be familiar to all on the women’s circuit, Griffiths has helped shape the infrastructure that has enabled players at the HKSI to achieve their potential during the past decade.

“I joined HKSI as Head Coach just before the 2010 Asian Games,” said Griffiths. “Billiard Sports joined HKSI in 2009 when the sport scored enough points to be considered for elite funding as a Tier A sport. This allowed an enhanced budget, a training grant for each player, travel expenses and a Head Coach. Unfortunately for them – that Head Coach turned out to be me!

“I wanted to employ a coach to work with me and I had known Alan Wong from a previous WPBSA coaching course. I knew he was native to Hong Kong and was well respected and liked as a junior coach. I felt Alan’s experience, coupled with his cultural knowledge and language skills made him a perfect addition for the team. Luckily for me, and for everyone else, he decided to take up our offer and join us in April 2011. We have been the core of the coaching team ever since and I couldn’t do without him!

“Michele Nip joined us as a full-time pool coach in 2016 (she had been part-time since 2012) and David Roe joined in the summer of the same year. Michele had brought up the junior pool team from a very young age and has developed them into Asian and World junior champions. David Roe, as a former top 16 professional player, was brought into to give us some high level ‘playing’ and international coaching experience, which I felt brought a good balance to the team overall. Both Michele and David have contributed massively to our achievements here in recent years.

“We also get around three visits per year from Lee Walker and Kelly Fisher as we seek to give the players as many different opportunities to grow and learn from the best. Their experience and input have also proved to be invaluable for us.”

World Women’s Snooker

Jaique Ip Wan In would be the first player from Hong Kong to compete on the World Women’s Snooker Tour, reaching the quarter-finals of the World Championship in both 2008 and 2009. In 2012 she became the first player from Hong Kong to win a ranking event at the Agnes Davies Memorial, defeating compatriot So Man Yan in the final.

At this time the Tour was based exclusively within the UK prior to becoming a subsidiary organisation of the WPBSA in 2015, providing an additional logistical challenge for Jaique and the other players who would join her in subsequent years.

“HKSI started with just four women players (the ‘golden girls’ as I believe they were known) of Ng On Yee, Ip Wan In Jaique, So Man Yan and Yu Ching Ching in 2010,” said Griffiths. “Three of these ladies were gold medal winners at the 2010 Asian Games.

“These four ladies were very keen to travel to international events to test themselves against the best players in the world. To do this we knew we had to come to the UK and enter WWS events.

“Obviously, the travel was an issue for us. It is generally 24 hours door to door for a UK trip from Hong Kong and a 7-8 hour time difference to get over. Fortunately for us however, we were well funded and supported by the HKBSCC, HKSI and the HKSAR Government. This allowed us to travel a few days early to get over the long trip and get some practice at the venue. We learned a lot of lessons along the way and this meant we felt we were getting stronger, on and off the table, with every trip we made.

“Even though we did not manage a win over Reanne Evans early on, we did start to score some positive results against other top players. This gave us all some encouragement and showed that we were moving in the right direction.

“However, Reanne was still the ‘Queen’ and Maria Catalano and Emma Bonney were the other business end players who always were tough to beat. It was around this time we felt things were becoming a little comfortable for the four ladies and we went in search of a ‘Sigmoid Leap’!

“To intensify competition, in 2013 we added another player, Wan Ka Kai, who was selected through a local TID event and went on to be Hong Kong’s second highest WWS ranked player not long after. Since then we have followed this strategy of increasing the members of the team to keep levels of motivation high.”

‘Respect but no fear’

Of course while many players from Hong Kong have gone on to establish themselves on the circuit, the most successful player to date has been our current world number two Ng On Yee, who famously ended the 10-year reign of Reanne Evans at the World Championship in 2015, going on to win the biggest tournament on the calendar three times over a four-year period from 2015-2018 and becoming world number one.

Her WWS debut came four years prior to her first world title when as a 20-year-old she crossed cues with Evans for the first time, losing 4-1 in a match that would launch a healthy rivalry that continues to this day.

“I think this was my first major overseas event with the ladies and I remember it quite vividly,” recalled Griffiths. “Regarding On Yee specifically, she was still developing on the table at that time. However, what encouraged me about her at that event was her attitude. Two things I remember in particular.

“The first was a round robin match against Revanna Umadevi from India. On Yee looked like losing the match at 1-1 and 45+ behind with three reds left. She then fluked a red and cleared with a 50 break to win on the black. This was not a massive break or a critical victory maybe, but it did show me a little about the mental make up of this young player.

“The second thing I remember was the knockout match with Reanne. On Yee did well but was still roundly beaten. However, it was On Yee’s positive attitude before, during and after the match that told me that here we had someone who mentally could mix it with the best.

“There was respect but no fear and a dogged determination to beat Reanne in the future – who at that time was pretty much seen as unbeatable. We set about breaking down what was needed to close the gap and On Yee worked diligently to achieve this. We knew there was some way to go, but that first event showed me that Hong Kong had a special player with the attitude and belief of a champion.”

Ng claimed her first WWS title at the 2012 Northern Championship, before defeating Evans for the first time on her way to winning the 2013 UK Championship. Two years later she would deliver her biggest performance to date as she defeated Evans in the semi-finals of the World Championship in Leeds, before claiming the trophy with a 6-2 success against Emma Bonney in the final.

“During the 2015 World Championship I was actually working down the road with Marco Fu in Sheffield and it was Alan Wong who guided On Yee to what was her biggest win to date. It was a great achievement. To end the reign of a dominant world champion is never easy and we all know what a great competitor Reanne is.

“This victory made sure that On Yee would be seen as one of the top female players in the world. The win made a lot of noise back in Hong Kong and was a massive boost for the sport – and for On Yee personally. In 2016 she received the coveted ‘Best of the Best’ sports award for Hong Kong for her results in 2015 and this launched her as a well-known personality in the region. For a female snooker player to win this award it was a significant step in the sport’s history in Hong Kong.

“We are all so happy to see a player with a great attitude and work ethic, who has listened and acted on the advice she has been given (rather than paying it lip service) to make the most of her talent. On Yee works hard and, maybe more importantly, she works smart. It is not an accident that the best players will be the players who are striving to improve and are never satisfied.

“This desire to get better however, has to be balanced for it not to become negative. On Yee has got this balance just about right now and it has been an honour and a pleasure for us all to be part of her journey to date.”

‘A Journey not a destination’

Since becoming world champion Ng has increasingly had the opportunity to compete against the world’s best male players at events including Q School, Challenge Tour and the 6-Red World Championship in Thailand.

“On Yee has improved considerably in the last 2 – 3 years and her game is getting closer to the men’s level – as the performance against Alan McManus in the 2019 World Championship showed,” said Griffiths. “However, she is a realist and she knows she has some way to go to consistently be at the level she needs to qualify for the men’s game through Q School or other accepted avenues.

“Our feeling has always been that if On Yee is always striving to improve enough to reach the men’s top tier, then we can be sure she will still be at or very near the top of the women’s game. This approach has worked relatively well to date.

“We are always looking for our own marginal gains as we strive to improve all our players in Hong Kong. We collect a lot of data here at HKSI in terms of skills benchmarking and matchplay ability. This factual and measurable data gives us a very good idea of where our players are in terms of reaching the next level. Through gap analysis, we then set about trying to formulate plans that will hopefully see the player improve in the key areas highlighted.

“We see this as a journey and not a destination, and the best On Yee can hope for is that she realises her full potential. If this means she is one of the first female players to play by right on the main tour, it would be an achievement she, and everyone here at the HKSI and the HKBSCC, would be very proud of. In the meantime, however, to quote our mantra here, she will focus on trying ‘to be a better player tomorrow’.

As Ng has continued to achieve success on the women’s circuit, she has been joined by further players from Hong Kong with seven currently ranked inside of the top 30. For each WWS events the HKSI runs an internal selection policy which as Griffiths explains, helps to create pressure situations to test the players.

“We are fortunate enough to have a strong squad of female players here in Hong Kong and they all get excellent support from HKBSCC, HKSI and the Hong Kong Government,” continues Griffiths. “We have no other player quite at On Yee’s level yet, but her ability and achievements are certainly inspiring them all to keep working hard to improve. So Man Yan, Ip Wan In Jaique, Ho Yee Ki, Fong Mei Mei, Cheung Yee Ting and Chu Pui Ying are all very good female players in their own right, and every one of them has supported HKSI with top results in recent years.”

The last decade has not only been significant for players based at the HKSI, but the circuit as a whole which has become more international since coming under the remit of the WPBSA in 2015. New events in mainland Europe, Asia and Oceania have led to the promotion of new talent and new opportunities for players globally, something that Griffiths is supportive of.

“The work done by the WWS team means that the Ladies’ game is now unrecognisable compared to where it was when I first attended in 2011,” explained Griffiths. “The depth and breadth of standard has improved significantly, numbers have increased (competitors and countries) and the events are now run, reported and marketed in a more professional manner.

“The women’s game now has far more respect and a lot more interest around the world. In terms of getting results however, it is has become a lot harder in recent years. Great players from the UK, mainland Europe, and especially now from China (Bai Yulu) and Thailand (Nutcharut Wongharuthai et al) have pushed the standards higher and higher.

“All these things come together to point to a very bright future for the women’s game, and all of us in Hong Kong look forward to be a part of it for many years to come!”

We would like to thank Wayne for his time and we look forward to seeing his team and all of the players from the HKSI again at upcoming tournaments.

Women’s Snooker Review 2019/20

Today we look back on a 2019/20 World Women’s Snooker Tour season which has seen some fantastic snooker played across the globe by the world’s leading female players.

Of course, the end of the season has not concluded in the way that we would have liked with the unavoidable postponement of both the Festival and World Championship tournaments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it has nevertheless been an important 12 months for women’s snooker with tournament entries and media exposure continuing to increase.

Below we pick out a few of the highlights of the campaign and reflect on the action we have seen on the baize…

Title Triple

For the first time since the 2016/17 season we crowned three ranking event champions as regular champions Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee were joined in the winner’s circle for the first time by Nutcharut Wongharuthai.

Having been knocking on the door for the previous 18 months with four ranking event final appearances to her name, the Thai star memorably broke her title duck at the Australian Women’s Open with victory against On Yee in the final. The win saw her become only the sixth active player to have won a full-ranking event title and reach a new career-high ranking of third in the world where she remains today.

Either side of her triumph came further victories for England’s Reanne Evans, who added record-extending ninth and sixth triumphs at the UK Women’s Championship and Eden Women’s Masters tournaments respectively. The wins helped our reigning world champion extend an unbeaten run dating back to October 2018 and underline her status as the undisputed number one on tour.

It was however Ng On Yee who ended the winning streak of Evans at our most recent competition in Bruges back in February, a 4-2 final success marking her own return to form as she claimed her first title in over a year on the WWS circuit at the second Belgian Women’s Open.

Crucible Return

Prior to the ranking event action though it was at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield where the new season was launched as women’s snooker returned to the home of snooker for the first time in 16 years.

The new Women’s Tour Championship saw our top four ranked players take to the baize at the venue which has hosted the professional World Championship since 1977, with only Reanne Evans have competed there previously.

With plenty of drama, tension and high quality snooker on display, the event represented a wonderful showcase of women’s snooker and demonstrated what our top players can do on the big stage.

  • Read our full report from the day HERE.

Participation on the Rise

The primary objective of WWS remains to provide opportunities for women and girls to pick up a cue and play snooker, providing the platform for players around the world, of any age or level of experience, to do so competitively.

We have been delighted this season to welcome several new players to the World Women’s Snooker Tour with no fewer than 35 women competing on the circuit for the first time.

With a total of 152 players from 29 countries currently ranked – an increase from just 38 players only six years ago – the tour is bigger than it has ever been during the current generation with more players joining all the time.

Among those to have joined the circuit, Northern Ireland’s Chucky Preston made an immediate impression at the Eden Masters by reaching the quarter-finals on her debut, while she was also one of a number of newcomers to reach the final of one of our side-tournaments during the campaign.

For the first time we welcomed players from Morocco as African Games champion Yousra Matine and Hind Bennani travelled to England to compete, with Hind reaching the Challenge Cup final at the UK Championship despite playing with a borrowed cue after her own did not arrive in time.

We have also been excited to welcome new players from Guernsey, Scotland, Russia, New Zealand and more.

Ranking Risers

It has been another season which has seen key movements across the world ranking list with a number of players reaching new career-high positions as they continue to develop their game.

As already mentioned above the most notable example is Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai who climbed to third position behind leading duo Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee at the top of the list.

Not far behind her and up to a new career-best of seventh is Emma Parker of England, who enjoyed another strong season by reaching her second ranking event semi-final at the Belgian Women’s Open, as well as winning Under-21 tournaments in Bruges and Leeds. She also achieved success at national level by claiming the English Women’s Championship for the first time.

Other notable players to have made significant gains at the top end of the rankings include former European champion Wendy Jans, while 17-year-old Ploychompoo Laokiatphong is up to 14th after she reached her first ranking event semi-finals at the UK Women’s Championship and Eden Masters tournaments.

Professional Opportunities

It has been another season where together with our friends at the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and World Snooker Tour, we have continued to work to provide new opportunities for our stars to compete at the highest level.

Most significantly this season saw our reigning world champion Reanne Evans qualify to play at the professional Champion of Champions for the first time, where she took on former triple crown winner Shaun Murphy live on ITV4. There she was able to recover from 3-0 down to force a deciding frame, before Murphy was able to get over the line with a one-visit break.

Once again Evans was also invited together with Nutcharut Wongharuthai to compete at the Shoot Out professional ranking event, although both ultimately found themselves up against impressive performances from opponents Ian Burns and Thor Chuan Leong respectively in the first round.

Both Evans and Ng On Yee also competed at the prestigious SangSom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand last September, while our top three ranked players were also set to play at the Betfred World Championship qualifiers in Sheffield this month, prior to the postponement of the tournament until later this summer.

What have been your memories of the 2019/20 season? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #WomensSnooker

World Rankings – Belgian Women’s Open 2020 Update

The official world women’s rankings were updated for the first time this calendar year following Ng On Yee’s triumph at the Belgian Women’s Open 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 2018 British Open were replaced by those earned at this year’s Belgian Women’s Open.

There are now over 150 players from 29 countries currently ranked on the circuit after a further eight new players joined the tour in Bruges.

Evans Retains Advantage

Following her title victory in Bruges, Ng On Yee of Hong Kong, China has closed the gap to England’s Reanne Evans at the top of the world rankings, but it is the 12-time world champion who retains a significant advantage with two events still to be played this season.

Having entered the tournament with a lead of 22,850, runner-up Evans has seen her lead trimmed to 17,900, with the points from her British Open triumph in February 2018 replaced by those earned this week in Belgium.

With On Yee set to defend a significant amount of points over the next six months however, the victory is nevertheless important to her as she looks to keep hold of second position ahead of the ever-improving Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who missed out on the chance to close the gap following her semi-final defeat to On Yee last weekend.

The Top Ten

While the top four remains unchanged, there have been a number of movements elsewhere within the world’s top 10.

Despite her quarter-final defeat to Nutcharut Wongharuthai, five-time former world finalist Maria Catalano rises one place to fifth position ahead of Welsh cueist Laura Evans.

It was also another strong weekend for 20-year-old Emma Parker, who reached the semi-finals of a ranking event for only the second time in her career and is rewarded with a new career-high ranking of number 7 ahead of Suzie Opacic who drops one position to eighth.

Rounding out the top 10, home player Wendy Jans climbs five places to number nine, her last 16 run allied to the fact that she did not compete in the corresponding event two years ago meaning that she gained points relative to a number of players around her on the ranking list. Similarly Thailand’s Waratthanun Sukritthanes also moves up on place into the top 10 for the first time, despite not having competed this weekend in Bruges.

Notable Moves

Outside of the top 10 there were notable gains for a number of players who were competing at the weekend, including Chloe White who moves up three positions to a career-high 21st in the rankings, while Belgium’s Caty Dehaene is up 10 places to 37th after finishing third in her round-robin group.

Also ascending the list are several players who have joined the circuit this season including Chucky Preston (43), Harriet Haynes (48), Bennani Hind (55) and Kate Le Gallez (56). Our most notable new entries are 15-year-old Albina Liashcuk of Belarus and Belgium’s Belinda Focquaert, who are straight in at 74th position after both players progressed to the last 16 on their return to the circuit.

Under-21 / Seniors

Emma Parker remains at the head of the Under-21 ranking list following her sixth career Under-21 victory ahead of Nutcharut Wongharthai, who Parker edged out in the semi-finals. Runner-up Albina Liashcuk is a new entry at 11th following a sensational run which including wins against English pair Steph Daughtery and Chloe White.

In the new for 2019/20 Seniors ranking list, Belgium’s Caty Dehaene moves straight into fourth position after she successfully defended the title that she previously won 12 months ago with victory against third placed Jackie Ellis. Deahene is one of five new additions to the Seniors rankings following the event.

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 Festival of Women’s Snooker from 3-6 April 2020. Entries for the event will open shortly.

On Yee On Top In Bruges

Ng On Yee has defeated Reanne Evans 4-2 in a reverse of last year’s final claim her first ranking title of the season at the Belgian Women’s Open in Bruges.

The victory represents a first ranking event triumph of the season for Asia’s number one player and ends a ranking title drought that had stretched back to the 2018 Australian Women’s Open.

World number two On Yee progressed to the semi-final stages with comfortable victories against Albina Liashcuk of Belarus and England’s Steph Daughtery, where she would face third seed Nutcharut Wongharuthai. Having lost her previous three encounters against the Thai youngster, On Yee recovered from 1-0 and 2-1 behind to secure a 4-2 victory with top runs of 71, 60 and 58.

Awaiting her was top seed Reanne Evans, who entered the tournament looking to extend an unbeaten run dating back to October 2018 and capture her third title of the season. Following a 3-0 victory against Harriet Haynes on Saturday evening, the 12-time world champion survived a valiant comeback from compatriot Rebecca Kenna in the quarter-finals to win 3-2, before dispatching Emma Parker in the last four to reach the final.

There it was Evans who would make the stronger start as she claimed the opening frame with an impressive clearance of 76, before On Yee turned the tables by taking two close frames to lead with a top break of 41.

Defending champion Evans responded with a green to pink clearance to level again at 2-2, but from there it was On Yee who added the final two frames to secure a confidence-boosting victory.

“It feels really good to win this title,” said On Yee. “The last time was 15 months ago and I have been questioning myself in the last year because I wasn’t doing so well in tournaments. Of course Reanne, Mink and other players are getting better so I have to improve myself too.”

“I didn’t play well in the first two rounds until I played Nutcharut, then I started to play a bit better. There were a few frames in the final where Reanne was 30-40 in front and I came back which were important.”

“There is a lot of negative news in Hong Kong and around the world so hopefully this is good news for Hong Kong!”

The 29-year-old, who also revealed that she has been suffering from a skin allergy during the past few days, added that despite her previous title drought on tour, that she feels that she is continuing to improve a player.

“I do feel like I am improving from last year but it has not shown in the results,” added On Yee. “I have to still try to do the simple things, trust myself, believe in myself and hopefully the results will follow.”

Victory for On Yee represents not only her first win on tour for 15 months but also her first win against top ranked Evans since the 2017 Eden Masters.

Her success sees her join Evans and Nutcharut Wongharuthai as ranking event winners this season and also consolidates her position in second place in the world rankings.

Side-tournaments

Emma Parker claimed her sixth-career junior title with a 2-0 victory against Albina Liashcuk in the final of the Under-21s competition in Bruges. The 20-year-old booked her place in the final with wins against Zoe Killington and Nutcharut Wongharuthai, before seeing off debut finalist Liashcuk who had impressed many at just 15-years-old with wins against Steph Daughtery and Chloe White.

It was a weekend to remember for Belgium’s Caty Dehaene who successfully defended her Seniors title, as well as adding victory in the Challenge Cup side-event to secure a title double.

Her Seniors success came against England’s Jackie Ellis with a 2-0 win, while she won a dramatic contest 2-1 against Northern Ireland’s Chucky Preston to win the Challenge Cup as all three frames were decided by the final black ball.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour returns with this year’s Festival of Women’s Snooker, an event which features five individual tournaments, to be played over four days from 3-6 April 2020 at the Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds, England.

Belgian Women’s Open 2020: Tournament Information

Tournament information for this weekend’s Belgian Women’s Open to be held at The Trickshot Snooker Club in Bruges is now available:

The Belgian Women’s Open will be the fourth ranking event of the 2019/20 World Women’s Snooker Tour season and our first in mainland Europe as we return to The Trickshot following our successful first event at the venue last year.

To be held over three days, the event has seen an incredible 50% rise in entries with 36 players set to contest four tournaments, including the main competition and side-events for Under-21 and Seniors players. During a season which has seen a significant interest in new players on the circuit, we are delighted to welcome a further six debutants to the Tour this weekend.

Last year’s final saw world number one Reanne Evans claim the title with a 4-1 win against Ng On Yee in the final, while fellow Englishwoman Steph Daughtery claimed a brace of titles with success in the Under-21 and Challenge Cup tournaments. Belgium’s Caty Dehaene claimed victory in the Seniors competition.

Format

The top two seeds have been seeded straight through to the last 16 stage, with the remaining 33 players drawn in seven round-robin groups of 4/5 players. The top two players from each group will progress to join Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee in the last 16 stage.

There will be live streaming of the event during Saturday and Sunday, available to watch via our Facebook page.

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team via our website or social media.

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 Rankings – Eden Women’s Masters 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings were updated for the final time in 2019 following victory for Reanne Evans at the Eden Women’s Masters 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 Eden Masters were replaced by those earned at this year’s Eden Masters.

Evans Extends Her Advantage

World number one Reanne Evans underlined her status as the number one player in the world by completing the year unbeaten on the World Women’s Snooker Tour with victory in Coulsdon.

Having entered the event with an already commanding lead of 19,100, Evans leads by an impressive 22,850 points after she reversed the final result at this event from two years ago with a 4-2 success last weekend.

With both players set to defend a similar amount of points during the remainder of the season Evans looks virtually certain to remain in top spot for the foreseeable future, while Ng On Yee consolidated second position ahead of Eden quarter-finalist Nutcharut Wongharuthai.

The Top Ten

In fact it was a quiet month in the top ten with no changes of position inside the top eight, the first mover being Germany’s Diana Schuler who returns to the top 10 at the expense of Katrina Wan following her last 16 run in Coulsdon.

The most significant gain was made by Thailand’s Ploychompoo Laokiatphong, the 17-year-old climbing 11 places to 15th having reached her second semi-final of the season. With no ranking points to defend during the remainder of the season, the talented youngster is well-placed to challenge for a place in the top ten over the coming months.

There are new career-highs for a number of players including Waratthanun Sukritthanes (11), Yee Ting Cheung (17), Connie Stephens (19) and 13-year-old Zoe Killington (34), while debut quarter-finalist Chucky Preston is immediately up to 56th position after her first event.

There are now 145 players currently holding a world ranking, up from 92 just two years ago.

Under-21 / Seniors

Nutcharut Wongharuthai is up to second position in the latest Under-21 rankings after she completed her career ‘triple crown’ of junior titles at the World, UK and Masters events with victory against compatriot Ploychompoo Laokiatphong.

In the new for the season Seniors rankings Jan Hughes retains top spot after she reached the final in Coulsdon, with champion Jenny Poulter moving into second position following yet another success in the over-40s age group.

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 Belgian Women’s Open from 30 January – 2 February 2020. Entries for the event will open shortly.

Evans is the Master in Coulsdon

Reanne Evans won the Eden Women’s Masters title for a record-extending sixth time last weekend following a 4-2 defeat of Ng On Yee in London, England.

Held for the first time at Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon, the event saw 30 players of 12 nationalities – including each of the world’s top ranked eight players – compete for the third ranking event title of the season following previous competitions in Leeds and Australia.

Current world number one and reigning world champion Evans maintained her 100% record of final appearances at the tournament since its first staging back in 2013 with victories against Wales’ Sharon Lewis, tour debutant Chucky Preston of Northern Ireland and Thai starlet Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in the knockout stages.

Awaiting her in the final was Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee, winner of the Eden Masters back in 2017 and who was looking to end a ranking title drought which now dates back to October 2018. She began her campaign with victories against Harriet Haynes, top ranked under-21 star Emma Parker and former world number one Maria Catalano, which notably included a stunning weekend-high total clearance of 135 in the final frame.

It was On Yee who struck first blood in the title match with a break of 50 to take the opening frame before Evans quickly drew level in their race to four.

The following two frames would prove to be significant as both came down to the final black, Evans claiming both to move into a 3-1 lead and one away from yet another ranking event title. On Yee responded with a match-high break of 52 to stay in the match, but Evans was not to be denied her sixth Eden Masters title – also her sixth ranking event success of the 2019 calendar year – as she sealed a 4-2 victory in the following frame.

The win crowns arguably the most successful season of Evans’ career to date which has seen her claim six ranking event titles, including her record 12th world championship crown back in June and the Women’s Tour Championship at the Crucible Theatre in August.

Side-tournaments

Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai claimed her third career Under-21 title with a 3-0 final victory against compatriot Ploychompoo Laokiatphong.

Having previously won both the World and UK Championship titles at junior level the win sees the 20-year-old complete her own personal ‘triple crown’ of Under-21 titles. During the weekend Wongharuthai was also presented with her award for being the WWS Under-21 Player of the Season by Rob Reed of RR Cue Cases, receiving a stunning handmade cue case bearing her name.

In the Seniors tournament it was veteran potter Jenny Poulter who claimed her first silverware of the season following a 2-0 victory against Jan Hughes. Having seen off debutants Annamaria Wilkins and Amanda Cox, the 59-year-old saw off UK winner Hughes to claim glory.

World number seven Suzie Opacic claimed her first WWS title since April 2017 in the Challenge Cup side-event for players who had exited the main competition prior to the quarter-finals following a 2-1 victory against tour debutant Harriet Haynes. Opacic defeated Zoe Killington, Kristina Mladenovic and Jenny Poulter to reach the final before her success against Haynes.

All at World Women’s Snooker would like to thank event title sponsor Eden Resources and our hosts at Frames Sports Bar who have both provided fantastic support for the event.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour returns in 2020 with the Belgian Women’s Open in Bruges from 31 January – 2 February.

World Rankings – Australian Women’s Open 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings were recently updated for the second time during the 2019/20 season after Nutcharut Wongharuthai claimed her first ranking event title at the Australian Women’s Open last month.

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, no points were removed, with those earned at this year’s Australian Women’s Open added.

Maximum Mink on the Move

Although a number of the world’s top 10 were absent in Sydney, there was a significant move in the top four as Nutcharut Wongharuthai moved above Rebecca Kenna into third place, a new career-high for the Thai youngster. Having entered the event 3,350 points behind Kenna, ‘Mink’ as she is also known more than did enough to break new ground in Australia as she defeated second ranked Ng On Yee in the final to bag the maximum 7,500 points.

With Kenna set to defend semi-final points at this month’s Eden Masters from two years ago, an event which Wongharuthai did not play in, the Thai star is already guaranteed to end the calendar year in at least third position. Next in her sights will be three-time world champion On Yee, with the Hong Kong star mathematically within reach in Coulsdon later this month if Wongharuthai were to go all the way with On Yee losing out early.

While this would appear unlikely, On Yee does have 7,250 more points to defend during the second half of this season than Wongharuthai meaning that we are set for a real battle for the number two spot behind runaway world number one Reanne Evans over the coming months.

Notable Movers

Elsewhere, Jaique Ip Wan In returned to the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2017 after reaching the semi-finals in Sydney to become the second highest ranked player from Hong Kong and with fewer points to defend this season than anyone else inside the top 14 will be hoping to consolidate her position over the coming months. There is also a notable rise for another Hong Kong native as Pui Ying Mini Chu climbed to 18th position after her own run in Sydney.

Of the Australian players competing on home soil Judy Dangerfield consolidated her position as the highest-ranked in 28th, while quarter-finalist Jessica Woods moves up to 31st, a gain of seven places. Also reaching the last eight from Australia was Carlie Tait, who improved upon her last 16 run in Sydney a year previously and climbs 27 places to number 42.

Also breaking new ground is Tani Mina of Japan who moves to 51st position, while South Korea’s Jeong Min Park is up to 39th after she reached the quarter-finals.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Eden Women’s Masters from 23-24 November 2019. Enter online HERE.

Maximum Mink Wins First Ranking Title

Nutcharut Wongharuthai has defeated Ng On Yee 4-2 in the final of the Australian Women’s Open to capture her first-ever ranking event title on Sunday.

Held for a second time at the Mounties venue in Sydney, Australia, following last year’s inaugural event, the competition saw 24 players battle it out to become champion across four days of hard-fought action.

It would be the top two seeded players who would make it through to the showpiece match, Thailand’s Wongharuthai ominously doing so for the loss of no frames, while defending champion On Yee made it back-to-back finals in Sydney with victories against Jessica Woods and So Man Yan in the latter rounds.

Contested over the best of seven frames, the final saw 19-year-old Wongharuthai make the faster start by moving into a 2-0 lead, before former world number one On Yee hit back with a run of 70 to get herself off the mark. Mink, as Wongharuthai is also commonly known, took the fourth frame to restore her two-frame advantage, only for On Yee to again close the gap with a second 70 break to stay in the match.

Wongharuthai was not to be denied however, runs of 38 and 37 in the sixth and ultimately final frame proving enough for her to claim glory for the first time on the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

Victory for the Thai star adds to a career-best year which has already seen her reach her first World Championship final and become the first woman to make a verified 147 break back in March. She is now also guaranteed to climb to a new career-high ranking of number three, overtaking Rebecca Kenna who did not compete in Australia.

Wongharuthai’s success also represents the first ranking event win for a player other than On Yee or Reanne Evans on the circuit since Maria Catalano claimed victory at the Connie Gough Trophy back in February 2017 and the Thai star also finished the week with the highest break after her run of 90 during the group stage.

All at World Women’s Snooker would like to thank the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council for their hard work in running this event during the week.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour continues with the Eden Women’s Masters which runs from 23-24 November at Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon, England. Enter the event online HERE.