WWS | 2023/24 Season Review

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Ng On Yee’s victory at last month’s British Open has brought another unforgettable season on the World Women’s Snooker (WWS) Tour to an end.

Eight ranking events were held during the campaign, which took place in six countries across four continents as women’s snooker continues to grow across the globe.

Bai Yulu’s victory on home soil at the biggest ever World Women’s Championship in March, watched by a cumulative 175.4 million in China alone, proved to be the highlight of the season and the Chinese cueist will compete on the World Snooker Tour for the first time next season after lifting her maiden world title in Dongguan Changping.

Meanwhile, fellow Asian stars Mink Nutcharut and Ng On Yee showed their dominance by securing five ranking event titles between them as the Thai player finished top of the world rankings to secure an immediate return to professional status.

Breakthrough for Bai at Biggest Ever World Women’s Championship

Bai Yulu defeated Mink Nutcharut 6-5 in dramatic fashion on the final pink to win the World Women’s Championship for the first time in her career and earn a place on the professional tour for the next two seasons.

The 20-year-old, who reached the final the previous year on debut, came from 3-0 down to win 5-3 against 12-time world champion Reanne Evans in the semi-finals, before overcoming Mink in a dramatic contest that also saw Bai smash the record for a break compiled in a World Women’s Championship final with a stunning 122 in the third frame.

Victory saw Bai, who also won the World Women’s Under-21 Championship during the same week, become the first player from mainland China to win the world title and move up into the top eight in the world rankings for the first time.

The highly-rated cueist will now have the opportunity to ply her trade against the world’s very best players over the 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons.

The 2024 World Women’s Championship, held in Dongguan Changping in China, underlined the huge growth of women’s snooker in recent years with unprecedented viewing figures, large crowds and an international field of competitors battling it out for the biggest prize on the WWS Tour.

Magic Mink Returns to the Pro Tour

Mink Nutcharut will make an immediate return to the World Snooker Tour after ending the season in top spot in the WWS rankings for the first time.

The 24-year-old from Thailand lifted the US Open and Belgian Open titles during the campaign and also reached a further three finals, including at the World Women’s Championship where she agonisingly missed out on a second world title in a dramatic deciding frame again Bai Yulu in China.

She got off to the perfect start by winning the first event of the season in Seattle, USA, where she came from 2-0 down to defeat Ng On Yee 4-2 and claim victory. Both players also compiled century breaks at Ox Billiards, becoming the first female players to break the century barrier in the United States.

Mink and Ng, the top two ranked players at the conclusion of the season, proved to be familiar foes in ranking event finals as they contested four in total, and it would be the Hong Kong China cueist that Mink defeated once again in Belgium in January to win her second title.

Hat-Trick of Titles for Ng

Ng On Yee has ended the season as the top ranked player on the one-year list after an impressive campaign that saw her lift three ranking event crowns and reach two further title matches.

Following defeat to Mink in Seattle, Ng bounced back to beat ranking final debutant Amee Kamani from India to win the Australian Open and lift her first title in over 15 months.

Mink would once again get the better of Ng in Bruges, but the 33-year-old finally got her revenge in a dramatic match at the Albanian Open – an event played alongside the prestigious World Snooker Federation (WSF) Championship in Golem, Albania.

Ng charged into a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven frame final contest, but Mink hit back to force a decider, only for the three-time world champion held her nerve and take the final frame for victory.

Mink scored a dominant 5-0 whitewash of Ng at the semi-final stage of the World Championship in March, but it was Ng who would turn the tables in the final of the the British Open to end her campaign a high note and win a landmark 20th ranking event title at the Landywood Snooker Club.

Evans Wins 12th UK Crown

Reanne Evans defeated Bai Yulu 4-1 in Leeds, England in September to win a record-extending 12th UK Championship title.

Evans, who first won this event back in 2005, continues to set the standard for women’s snooker as she overcame three-time world champion Ng On Yee before defeating Bai in the title match to add a 12th UK crown to go alongside her 12 World Championships.

The victory maintained her dominance of a tournament that she has now won on its previous four stagings (2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023) and brought her tally of individual titles on the WWS Tour to a remarkable 66.

Talbot Wins Maiden Ranking Crown

Mary Talbot ended a 29-year wait for a first world ranking title by defeating Jamie Hunter 4-3 at Frames Sports Bar in London in November.

The breakthrough victory saw the 43-year-old become the first player in history to win WWS titles at Main, Under-21, Seniors and Challenge Cup levels and rounded off a successful calendar year that had earlier seen her lift the 2023 World Women’s Seniors Championship title in Thailand.

Talbot, whose previous best was a run to the semi-finals at the 2022 US Open, topped her group stage in comfortable fashion before overcoming Sophie Nix, Tessa Davidson and Sarah Dunn to book her place in a maiden ranking event final.

There she faced former ranking event winner Hunter, who led 3-2 in the best-of-seven frame title match, but Talbot was able to maintain her composure to take the final two frames and complete a memorable victory.

Davidson Dominates Seniors

Tessa Davidson has once again finished in top spot in the WWS Seniors rankings after securing four titles across the season.

Lifting the World Women’s Seniors Championship in China was the highlight for Davidson, who defeated Han Fang 3-1 to take the title, and also won the Seniors tournaments at the Eden Masters, Belgian Open and British Open events.

Her second World Women’s Seniors title also secured her qualification for the 2024 World Seniors Championship at the iconic Crucible Theatre and, on an unforgettable occasion for the 55-year-old, she became the first female player to win a frame at the tournament as she battled to a hard-fought 3-1 loss against eventual champion Igor Figueiredo.

Nix Number One

Scotland’s Sophie Nix has ended the season at the summit of the WWS Under-21 ranking list for the first time in her career.

The 15-year-old, who had never won an Under-21 title on the tour prior to this season, was victorious at the Eden Masters and has shown great consistency to finish in top spot – further highlighting her promise by lifting the Challenge Cup title at last month’s British Open.

Four players from four different countries have won junior titles during the campaign, highlighting the growing globalisation and strength-in-depth in the women’s junior game.

Among these was World Under-21 champion Bai Yulu, who was joined new champions Nix, Natasha Chethan and most recently Ellise Scott – who became the youngest winner of the season at just 13-years-old.

2023/24 Roll of Honour

  • 2023 US Open: Mink Nutcharut
  • 2023 UK Championship: Reanne Evans
  • 2023 Australian Open: Ng On Yee
  • 2023 Eden Masters: Mary Talbot
  • 2024 Belgian Open: Mink Nutcharut
  • 2024 Albanian Open: Ng On Yee
  • 2024 World Women’s Championship: Bai Yulu
  • 2024 British Open: Ng On Yee