Tag: Nutcharut Wongharuthai

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

Festival of Women’s Snooker 2020: Enter Now

Entries are now being accepted for the 2020 Festival of Women’s Snooker as the World Women’s Snooker Tour returns to Leeds, England.

The event will take place across four days from 3-6 April 2020 at the Northern Snooker Centre and as in previous years will incorporate five world championship competitions:

  • Friday 3 April – World Women’s Under-21 Championship / World Women’s Seniors Championship
  • Saturday 4 April – World Women’s 10-Red Championship
  • Sunday 5 April – World Women’s 6-Red Championship
  • Monday 6 April – World Women’s Pairs Championship

A year ago it was world no.1 Reanne Evans who for the second successive year was able to claim a hat-trick of titles with individual victories in the 10-Red and 6-Red competitions, as well as in the pairs tournament together with Maria Catalano. There was also success for Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and Jenny Poulter who claimed silverware in the Under-21 and Seniors events respectively.

The closing date for entries and payment of entry fees is 4:30pm BST on Friday 27 March 2020.

Evans and Wongharuthai to Star at Snooker Shoot Out

WST has today announced that England’s Reanne Evans and Nutcharut Wongharuthai of Thailand will both compete at this season’s BetVictor Shoot Out which will be staged at the Watford Colosseum from 20-23 February 2020.

The pair, who last June contested the final of the World Women’s Snooker Championship, won 6-3 by Evans in Thailand, have been selected for the professional event among eight wildcard players including players recognised for their achievements at World Snooker Federation and Challenge Tour events.

Both Evans and Wongharuthai, the latter who will make her debut at a main tour ranking event, will join 126 other players looking to take home the £50,000 top prize live on Eurosport.

Read the full announcement via WST HERE.

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.

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.

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.

Evans is Queen of the Crucible

World number one Reanne Evans has won the inaugural Women’s Tour Championship title at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

The event saw the world’s top four ranked players Evans, Ng On Yee, Rebecca Kenna and Nutcharut Wongharuthai take to the baize as women’s snooker returned to the home of the snooker for the first time since 2003.

Evans began the day with a dramatic black-ball victory against 19-year-old Wongharuthai in what was a repeat of this year’s World Championship final. Having split two high-quality opening frames the match came down to a re-spotted black, which Evans would eventually ‘treble’ into the middle pocket to book her place in the final.

There she would meet long-time rival Ng On Yee after the Hong Kong star defeated third ranked Rebecca Kenna 2-0 in the second semi-final. After On Yee took a scrappy opener, the match was highlighted by a stunning clearance of 47 by the three-time former world champion to seal victory.

The final between the world’s top two players would be played as a single frame shoot-out and it was On Yee who had the first clear chance to build an advantage. A surprising miss on the black however would prove to be her final shot as Evans made no mistake with a decisive break of 79 to clinch the title.

The victory sees Evans pick up from where she left off after a six-title 2018/19 season which saw her regain the world number one ranking and claim her record 12th world title.

“To come back and soak everything up with the one-table set-up, I have absolutely loved it and hopefully it’s a step forward for women’s snooker and for me in general.” said Evans.

“We were happy just to be come and play here as the top four women players at the Crucible Theatre of dreams, every snooker player no matter who you are wants to play her. Then we were told that it was live on TV which added pressure, but it lets people know that we play and people will try to support us more and hopefully we can put on a good show.”

The tournament was held as part of this year’s ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship, which has seen 20 of the world’s best over-40 players compete in Sheffield this week with live coverage in the UK and Ireland broadcast by Freesports TV.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour returns next month with the UK Women’s Snooker Championship from Leeds on 14-15 September 2019. Enter the event now online HERE.

Women’s Tour Championship 2019

The draw and format for the Women’s Tour Championship to be held tomorrow (Saturday) at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield is now available.

The inaugurual event, which will be televised live in the UK and Ireland by Freesports TV, will women’s snooker contested at the sport’s spiritual home for the first time in over 16 years.

All matches will provisionally be played over the best of three frames, subject to change depending on timings during the day.

Tickets for the event are still available HERE for just £1.47 when purchased alongside a full-price ticket for the ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship.