Tag: Steph Daughtery

World Women’s Snooker Rankings Review 2018/19

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

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

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

Number one

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

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

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

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

The top eight

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

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

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

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

On the rise

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

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

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

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

The future

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

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

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

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

World Women’s Rankings – Belgian Women’s Open 2019 Update

The official world women’s rankings have been updated for the first time in 2019 as Reanne Evans claimed her third title of the season at the Belgian Women’s Open last weekend.

The WWS world rankings operate on a rolling two-year basis, with points earned during 2016/17 to be removed during the course of this season. At this revision, points earned at the 2017 Connie Gough Trophy were removed from the ranking list and replaced by those earned at this year’s event held at The Trickshot in Bruges.

On Yee completes year at the top

Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has completed 12 months at the head of the world women’s ranking list following her run to the final last weekend in Bruges. In fact, despite losing out to closest rival Reanne Evans in the title match, On Yee has actually extended her lead because she was defending no points at this cut-off, while Evans had 3,200 coming off having reached the semi-finals of the Connie Gough Trophy in 2017.

It is not all bad news for 11-time world champion Evans however as her defeat of the top seed has strengthened her position in top spot on this season’s one-year ranking list with 6,000 more points to her name than On Yee.

With On Yee set to lose 20,000 from her total over the next six months following her flawless end to the 2016/17 season, there is a very real prospect that top spot will change hands before the end of the season with Evans due to defend only the 6,400 points earned by her semi-final run at the 2017 World Championship.

The top 10

Despite the removal of points earned two years ago in Dunstable and the addition of those earned in Belgium, there are no changes of position inside the top 10 this week.

Third ranked Rebecca Kenna finds herself on her own some distance behind the top two, but comfortably clear of Maria Catalano who was defending the maximum 5,000 points having triumphed two years ago at the Connie Gough Trophy and did not compete in Belgium

There is in fact a close battle for fourth place with just 2,525 separating Catalano, Katrina Wan and Laura Evans, with all three players defending a similar amount of points between now and the end of the season.

Further back, Suzie Opacic is under increasing pressure from Thailand’s Nutcharut Wongharuthai, who having reached the semi-finals or better for the fourth time in five events so far this season, looks destined to continue her surge up the ranking list over the coming months.

Jans on the rise

Among the biggest movers further down the rankings is Belgium’s Wendy Jans as the 12-time EBSA champion rises nine places to 23rd position following her second semi-final run of the season. A stronger player than her ranking would suggest, she will only continue to climb the ranking list with further tour appearances over the coming months.

Also on the rise is Jackie Ellis who climbs two places to a new career-high of 21st position, as well as Dorothee Rapp and Connie Stephens who are up to career-best positions of 31st and 32nd respectively.

Germany’s Tanja Ender also rises one position to 40th despite not competing in Bruges.

There are six new names on the ranking list this week including Jane O’Neill, who made her first appearance on the circuit since 2003, reaching the last 16. Both Vicky Shirley and Danielle Findlay fall off the list having not competed in over two years now.

Under-21

There is a change at the top of the Under-21 ranking list as with Shannon Metcalf absent from the tournament, a semi-final run from Emma Parker was enough to see the Hornchurch youngster reclaim the number one junior ranking for the second time this season.

Steph Daughtery, who captured the title in Bruges with a brilliant win against Nutcharut Wongharuthai consolidates third position, with her Thai opponent rising into the top four for the first time ahead of Aimee Benn.

Zoe Killington moves up to eighth position after winning her first match at under-21 level against newcomer Anne Kuijpers.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Festival of Women’s Snooker from 12-15 April 2019.

Belgian Double for Evans

England’s Reanne Evans defeated world number one Ng On Yee 4-1 to win the Belgian Women’s Open for the first time last weekend.

The new event was held for the first time at The Trickshot club in Bruges and was the first event of the new year on the World Women’s Snooker Tour.

Having already enjoyed success in Belgium earlier this season at the European Women’s Masters staged in Neerpelt, Evans was one of the favourites from a strong field which included eight of the world’s top 10 ranked players at the outset.

The 11-time world champion made comfortable progress to the semi-finals with victories against local debutant Vanessa Vermeulen and then world number 7 Suzie Opacic without the loss of a frame.

Awaiting her in the last four was 12-time EBSA champion Wendy Jans, the Belgian star having successfully navigated the group stages with a 100% record and a top break of 60. Meeting for the first time in a WWS competition since the same stage of the 2014 World Women’s Championship, it was Evans who made a fast start with a tournament-high break of 86 to take the opening frame, before Jans won three in a row to move to within a frame of reaching the final on home soil.

Back however came Dudley’s Evans, who capitalised on a missed chance by Jans in frame five and would ultimately win the final three frames, the last with breaks of 49 and 46, to progress to the title match a 4-3 winner.

There she would face top seed Ng On Yee, the Hong Kong player having also made comfortable early progress through the knockout draw before surviving a deciding-frame encounter with rising Thai talent Nutcharut Wongharuthai.

In what was perhaps surprisingly the first encounter of the season between the world’s two highest ranked players, it was On Yee who took the opening frame as she looked to add the title to previous victories at the UK Women’s Championship and Australian Women’s Open earlier this season.

Evans however had other ideas and having levelled the encounter following a close second frame, would ultimately win four in a row with top breaks of 55 and 45 to seal a 4-1 victory.

“I didn’t play great [in the final] but I felt like I had done just enough to win,” said 33-year-old Evans. “I am feeling more comfortable on the table at the moment which is a good sign for upcoming tournaments. It looked like I was going to lose 4-1 to Wendy in the semi-finals but I took my chance to make it 3-2 and after that I think I played quite well to come back, so I was confident going into the final.

“I seem to like playing in Belgium [having already won in Neerpelt earlier this season]. I have been to Bruges before and was looking forward to going back to what is a beautiful place. The people at the club looking after us were great and made us feel welcome. Hopefully we get to go back there in the future.”

The win sees Evans complete a hat-trick of victories this season, adding to her European Women’s Masters and Eden Masters titles in 2018. The win also boosts Evans’ chances of reclaiming the world number one ranking over the coming months, with On Yee set to defend a significant amount of world ranking points this spring.

The event was the fifth ranking event of the 2018/19 season and welcomed a mix of newcomers from the local area, together with returning faces such as Caty Dehaene and Jane O’Neill, the latter competing in her first WWS tournament for 16 years.

WWS would like to express its gratitude to everyone at the Trickshot, in particular owner Olivier Vandenbohede and his team who welcomed the event with open arms and we hope to be able to return in 2020.

Side-events

It was a weekend to remember for Wakefield’s Steph Daughtery after the 17-year-old claimed victory in both the Challenge Cup and Under-21 side-events in Bruges.

Having reached the last 16 of the main event, losing out to Suzie Opacic 3-1 following a close match, she proved to be the scourge of the Belgian players in the Challenge Cup draw as she defeated Milenka Vansteenkiste, Melissa Eens and finally Caty Dehaene without the loss of a frame to secure victory. The win was her second successive Challenge Cup title of the season after she also won the equivalent event at last November’s Women’s Masters.

Perhaps Daughtery’s most impressive performance however was to come in the Under-21s competition as after defeating fellow English junior Zoe Killington in the last four, she then stunned world number 8 Nutcharut Wongharuthai in the final with a 2-0 victory to seal a title double.

The Seniors competition meanwhile saw Belgium’s Caty Dehaene claim her first WWS title following a 2-0 victory against Jane O’Neill of Spain. The veteran player, who last summer finished as runner-up to Wendy Jans at the European Women’s Championship in Bucharest, impressed with a high break of 46 during the weekend and is up into the world’s top 50 following this weekend.

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return with the Festival of Women’s Snooker from 12-15 April 2019. The event will see five individual World Championship titles contested across the four days, including Under-21, Seniors, 6-Red, 10-Red and Women’s doubles competitions.

 

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.

Nutcharut and Reanne Evans

Evans Wins British Open

Reanne Evans claimed her second title of the 2017/18 season with a 4-0 victory against Nutcharut Wongharuthai at the British Open on Sunday evening.

The 11-time world champion was in fine form throughout the day having earlier seen off Laura Evans and then world number four Rebecca Kenna with breaks of 103 and 102 in the semi-finals to reach her fourth consecutive WLBS final.

There she would await 18-year-old Thai talent Nutcharut Wongharuthai who playing in her first competition in the UK, defeated the likes of established stars Maria Catalano and reigning world champion Ng On Yee 4-2 to reach her maiden final.

It was however to be Evans’ day, as ultimately ran out a comfortable winner in the best of seven frame final. Following defeats at the UK and Masters tournaments before Christmas, the 32-year-old was pleased to be back in the winner’s circle with next month’s World Women’s Snooker Championship fast approaching.

“I’ve been struggling for form,” said Evans. “But I felt a little bit more comfortable today, and I am happy with the win. It has been good to see everyone again this weekend and to be back competing at a tournament after a little gap in the season.

“I am now looking forward to the World Championship and hopefully going into the tournament with this win here will put me in good stead to continue that form in Malta. I would like to thank my sponsor Bobby Lee and Elite Studios, who will also be sponsoring me in Malta which is a big help.

And despite her comfortable victory in the final, Evans was also impressed by her young opponent who made such an impression on her UK debut.

“It is good to see some new faces,” said Evans. “She played really well against Maria [Catalano in the last 16], who said that she was a lot better than her on the day and was full of praise for her. She was also in my group in Singapore at last year’s World Championship so I knew that she could play.”

Parker at the double

Elsewhere at the British Open there was a title double for Emma Parker, who claimed victory in both the Challenge Cup and Under-21 competitions in Stourbridge.

The 18-year-old first defeated fellow youngster Shannon Metcalf 3-1 to win the Challenge Cup for players who had not progressed beyond the last 16 of the main competition, before edging a dramatic final against Stephanie Daughtery later in the day to add the Under-21 title.

As well as the trophies, she also won a cue generously as an extra prize for the Challenge Cup winner by Dean Jones Cues.

Finally, the Seniors competition was won by Jenny Poulter, who maintained her unbeaten run in the over-40s events this season with a 2-0 success against Sharon Kaur.

World Championship

The World Women’s Snooker Tour will return next month with the World Women’s Snooker Championship, which for the first time will be staged as part of the new World Snooker Federation Championships in Malta from 14-17 March.