Tag: Ploychompoo Laokiatphong

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.

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.

Evans Dominates World Festival to Secure Number One Return

It was another successful weekend for Dudley’s Reanne Evans who completed the successful defence of three titles at the 2019 Festival of Women’s Snooker to ensure that she would return to the top of the World Women’s Snooker ranking list.

Held at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds, England, the Festival saw a record field of entries from across the globe come together for the four-day event which saw five world championship titles decided.

Coming into the event on the back of three ranking titles already this term, Evans first claimed success in the World Women’s 10-Red Championship event as she dispatched Louise Cothier, Steph Daughtery, Emma Parker and Chinese debutant Chunxia Shi to reach the final, before coming back from 2-0 down to defeat Ng On Yee 4-3 in the final.

The result meant that Evans headed into Sunday’s 6-Red competition knowing that a quarter-final run would be sufficient to guarantee her return to the top of the ranking list at the expense of her long-time rival. Quick-fire wins against Hong Kong pair Yeeting Cheung and So Man Yan ensured that this would be the case before she added the scalps of Steph Daughtery, Baipat Siripaporn and finally Nutcharut Wongharuthai (who has defeated On Yee in the semi-finals), to seal a title double in the singles competitions.

This became a triple the following day as together with five-time world championship finalist Maria Catalano, Evans defeated Thai duo Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and Baipat Siripaporn to win the World Women’s Pairs Championship title for a third time on Monday.

The win did not come easily however as the pair came through deciding-frame finishes in two matches on their way to the final, first against Ng On Yee and So Man Yan in the last eight, before coming through against Thai pair Wongharuthai and Waratthanun Sukritthanes in the semi-finals.

The World Women’s Under-21 Championship saw a new winner as 16-year-old Ploychompoo Laokiatphong upset fellow Thai player and defending champion Nutcharut Wongharuthai in the final.

With the pair having topped their round-robin groups to set up the final meeting it was ‘Ploy’ who moved into a 2-1 lead before she sealed an impressive victory with a break of 70 in what proved to be the final frame.

Ploy would also secure the Challenge Cup title during the 6-Red competition to complete a fantastic weekend for the youngster, while Emma Parker secured the under-21 Challenge match against Baipat Siripaporn.

This year’s World Women’s Seniors Championship saw Jenny Poulter complete the successful defence of her title with a 2-0 victory against the returning Jan Hughes on Saturday afternoon.

Following a competitive round-robin stage which saw a 100% increase on entries compared to a year ago, it was the pair who won their respective groups to progress to the final, which saw Poulter edge both frames to claim the title once again.

The Challenge Cup event was won by Jane O’Neill representing Spain following a 2-0 success against Maureen Rowland.

There was also success for Laura Evans of Wales who edged out pairs partner Suzie Opacic to claim the Challenge Cup title in Saturday’s 10-Red tournament.

The highest break during the weekend was a magnificent total clearance of 130 made by Ng On Yee during Monday’s pairs competition, after she had also made a 71 clearance against Romania’s Corina Maracine during the 6-Red event, just four short of the maximum 75 points available under the format.

For the first time followers from home could follow the action using the new WPBSA Tournament Manager, which provided live scores from up to three tables with regular updates from the remaining matches.

All at World Women’s Snooker would like to express thanks to our hosts at the Northern Snooker Centre who always look after us, as well as all of the players, supporters and officials who helped make the event a success once again.

Full results from the singles competitions from the 2019 Festival are available 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 – UK Women’s Championship 2018 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the first time this season following the latest title triumph for Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee at the LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship 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 2016 Paul Hunter Ladies Classic and 2016 UK Ladies Snooker Championship events have been removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned last weekend at the Northern Snooker Centre.

On Yee extends her advantage

Following the successful defence of her UK title in Leeds, Hong Kong star Ng On Yee has significantly tightened her grip on top spot with her lead now stretching from 5,850 to 13,612 points to second placed Reanne Evans.

This significant swing is primarily the result of two factors, the first of course being On Yee’s victory combined with the surprise last 16 exit of record eight-time UK champion Evans to Rebecca Kenna.

The second reason is that as well as having more points going onto her total after this event, On Yee also had fewer points to defend with 12,300 coming off her total compared to 13,500 for Evans following their respective results two years ago. Interestingly this pattern will continue through until early next year with Evans defending winners points  from the Eden Women’s Masters (7,500) at which On Yee lost in the quarter-finals (3,750), as well as semi-final points from the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy (3,200) at which On Yee did not compete.

The tables will turn after that however with On Yee set to defend a further 20,000 points before the end of the season compared to just 6,400 for Evans, giving the Dudley star a chance to close down the gap.

The top 10

Keighley-based Rebecca Kenna has moved back up Maria Catalano into a career-best equalling third position following her run to the final at the UK Women’s Snooker Championship.

The two most consistent performers on the tour outside of the top two in recent seasons, the pair have enjoyed a competitive battle in 2018 which has seen them regularly swap places in the table and it will be interesting to see whether either player can make that position their own over the coming months or even mount a serious challenge to the top two.

There is no change in position elsewhere in the top ten, although Katrina Wan has closed the gap to fifth placed Laura Evans by reaching the quarter-finals, while Evans was not in action in Leeds.

Ranking risers

It was another successful event for Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai who climbs six places to a career-high 11th position following her run to the semi-finals. With no points to come off her total prior to next year’s World Women’s Championship, it would appear inevitable that the 18-year-old will soon break into top ten for the first time and could follow the example set in recent years by players like Rebecca Kenna and Laura Evans who have firmly established themselves inside the top six.

Other significant movers include Hong Kong’s Ho Yee Ki who climbs four places to 17th following her run to the quarter-finals, while there are new career-high positions for several players including Chloe White (23) and Connie Stephens (44), who reached the last 16 of an event for the first time in Leeds.

Of the five debutants in action this weekend Ploychompoo Laokiatphong enjoyed the most success by making it through to the last eight and is rewarded with an initial ranking of 59.

Under-21 rankings

Turning to the Under-21 rankings and 16-year-old Shannon Metcalf remains in top spot following her run to the final this weekend in Leeds. Interestingly however, second placed Emma Parker has closed the gap to just 300 points after her semi-final run because she had no points to defend having not competed at the event in 2016 while Metcalf was defending final points from that year.

Both players are now comfortably clear of third placed Stephanie Daughtery, who was defending champion’s points from the UK Under-21s Championship in 2016.

Elsewhere, this weekend’s champion Nutcharut Wongharuthai climbs one place to seventh and with two titles from three since joining the tour as a regular player earlier this year, it would again be no surprise to see her gain further positions over the coming months.

Next up will be the WLBS European Women’s Masters 2018, which will be held for the first time at De Maxx Snooker Club in Neerpelt, Belgium from 5-7 October 2018. Enter now online HERE.

LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship: Tournament Preview

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return this weekend with the LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship in Leeds and with the draws for the tournament now out, today we take a look at a few of the key themes to follow throughout the event.

The top two

Having shared last season’s silverware between them, current world number one Ng On Yee and 11-time world champion Reanne Evans will once again head into the tournament as the players to beat.

On Yee, who last season won the event for a third time with a 4-1 victory against Evans in the final, will be looking to extend her advantage at the top of the current world rankings with the gap currently standing at 5,850 points at the close of last season. In fact, with Evans defending maximum points from the corresponding event two years ago when she defeated On Yee in the semi-finals, the Hong Kong player will only need to complete her first match to guarantee retaining top spot following the event.

Record eight-time UK champion Evans however comes into the event having won three of the past four singles competitions on the tour and with 5,450 fewer points to be removed from her total during the course of this season will be keen to start closing the gap this weekend in Leeds.

Group draw

With the top two seeded through to the knockout rounds the remaining 26 players will contest Saturday’s group stage with the top two guaranteed to progress from each of the seven groups.

There is a real feeling of variety to this event with nine of the world’s top ten joined by five players who will be making their first appearances on the women’s circuit in Leeds, including players from the USA and Thailand.

Group A is headed by two-time UK Championship semi-finalist Suzie Opacic who will be aiming to go one match further this weekend and reach the final for the first time. The current world number seven will be joined by Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai, fresh from her appearance at last week’s SangSom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand, as well as Elizabeth Black and Heidi De Gruchy.

Grimsby’s De Gruchy will be making her return following a year off the tour since the corresponding event in 2017 at which she qualified for the knockout stages for the first time before losing out to Reanne Evans.

Over in Group B we have a real mix of youth and experience with top seed Aimee Benn joined by fellow junior Steph Daughtery and seniors competitor Dorothée Rapp of Germany. The group is completed by Hull’s Kate Longworth, the first of five debutants at the Northern Snooker Centre.

On paper one of the most eye-catching groups is Group C which will see world number four Rebecca Kenna looking to progress beyond the quarter-final stages of this event for the first time.

She will be up against former world women’s under-21 champion Emma Parker, Claire Edginton and Thai debutant Ploychompoo Laokiatphong. Coached by professional player Mike Dunn, the Thai youngster is well-regarded as a player and like each of the newcomers this weekend, a welcome addition to the circuit.

Two players from Hong Kong have found themselves paired in Group D with world number six Katrina Wan paired with compatriot Ho Yi Kee. Joining them will be two-time under-21 event winner Chloe White and 13th ranked Shannon Metcalf.

The final four-woman group is Group E with 2012 champion Maria Catalano its seeded star. Winner of the Connie Gough Trophy in 2017, Catalano is the last player other than Ng On Yee or Reanne Evans to claim silverware on the circuit and will of course look a little different this weekend following the completion of her ‘brave the shave’ challenge on Friday evening.

Set to challenge her on the baize will be Maureen Rowland together with two more newcomers to the circuit in the form of Jessica Connolly and Frances Eames Noland, the latter becoming our first active player from the United States of America.

There is also an international flavour to Group F with Germany’s top ranked player Diana Schuler set to be joined by former world number three Jaique Ip Wan In of Hong Kong and England’s Jackie Ellis.

Lastly, Group G is headed by the experienced Jenny Poulter, who will take on Connie Stephens and our final newcomer for this event, Michelle Baker. The wife of World Disability Billiards and Snooker player David Baker, Michelle has caught the snooker bug and will be looking to make a name for herself starting in Leeds.

Side events

The weekend will also see side-events played across both days of snooker.

The under-21s competition will see eight players begin at the quarter-finals stage in a straight knockout draw with Shannon Metcalf and Emma Parker kept apart as the top two seeds based upon their positions on the current Under-21 ranking list.

First up for home player Metcalf will be a clash with Claire Edginton with either Chloe White or two-time UK under-21s champion Steph Daughtery awaiting in the semi-finals. In the bottom half of the draw Parker will begin her defence of the title that she claimed a year ago against Aimee Benn, while there will also be an all-Thai clash between Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Ploychompoo Laokiatphong.

With six entries received into the seniors competition, both Jenny Poulter and Jackie Ellis have been randomly drawn straight through to the semi-finals and will each await the winner of a preliminary round match. Playing for the right to face two-time defending champion Poulter will be last year’s runner-up Maureen Rowland and Germany’s Dorothée Rapp, while Yvette Greenway faces newcomer Michelle Baker in the bottom half of the draw.

In addition to these two side-events there will also be a Challenge Cup tournament held for players who have not qualified to play during Sunday’s final stages.

Tournament updates

As always, the latest results and draws from the 2018 LITEtask UK Women’s Snooker Championship will be available to view throughout the weekend at MySnookerStats, with regular updates and photos to be posted at our Facebook and Twitter pages.