2022 Mixed Doubles – Day 1

It was an interesting and enjoyable first day in Milton Keynes, as the 2022 Mixed Doubles got underway.

Ronnie was poor in his first match. However he played much better in the evening and the commentators mentioned that they had been speaking to him between the two sessions and insisted that he is really up for the event.

Here are the reports by WST:

Afternoon session

Winning Starts For Trump / On Yee and Selby / Kenna

Judd Trump and Ng On Yee scored a 3-1 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan and Reanne Evans in the opening match of the BetVictor World Mixed Doubles, than Mark Selby and Rebecca Kenna saw off Neil Robertson and Mink Nutcharut by the same scoreline.

The new event sees the world’s top four men and top four women competing as pairs in a team format. The group phase continues on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, then the top two teams in the group go through to Sunday night’s final.

After winning a tight opening frame, Trump made a break of 75 to put his team 2-0 ahead, then On Yee made a cool clearance from the last red to take the third frame and ensure victory. Evans impressed in frame four with a run of 62 to avoid the whitewash.

Hong Kong’s On Yee said: “I feel like the clearance in the third frame was really good. There was huge pressure but luckily I handled it well.

Trump added: “We spoke briefly before the match about which order to go in and decided it would be me before for Ronnie to try and keep him quiet. That was our tactic, to try and keep him safe. I felt very confident in On Yee and it worked well.

It’s an amazing showcase for the women’s game. It could have been difficult for them to play, as if they were playing with the weight of the world on their shoulders, but actually they settled into the swing of things a lot quicker than me and Ronnie did.

I felt very confident when when the draw come out that we’d have a great chance. Ronnie and Reanne have been the favourites in so many people’s eyes, but I quietly felt we were very strong. And I believe that we have what it takes to go all the way.

In the second match, Selby opened with a break of 134, then Robertson replied with a 64 for 1-1. A run of 64 from Selby helped his team regain the lead. In frame four, the English duo trailed 46-11, but some clever safety from Kenna helped set her partner up with a chance, and Selby took advantage with a 40 clearance.

Kenna said: “I’m pleased that I could put a few balls together. I know how difficult it is to get settled on these tables, they are just so fast. But when when the opportunities came, I went for my shots until I lost position.

Selby added: “It’s huge spotlight, at least 30 years since we’ve had an event like this, especially to be on the main ITV channel with a primetime audience. So I said to Rebecca, just go out there, express yourself. Show everyone your personality go for your shots, because this is a massive platform for women snooker to try and promote it.

Evening session

Selby And Kenna In Pole Position

Mark Selby and Rebecca Kenna beat Judd Trump and Ng On Yee 3-1 to top the group after the first day of the new BetVictor World Mixed Doubles in Milton Keynes.

Points gained after two matches each:

Mark Selby & Rebecca Kenna: 6
Judd Trump & Ng On Yee: 4
Ronnie O’Sullivan & Reanne Evans 4
Neil Robertson & Mink Nutcharut: 2

The top two teams after the third round of group matches on Sunday afternoon will go through to the final on Sunday evening.

Sunday’s play starts at 1pm with Neil Robertson and Mink Nutcharut against Judd Trump and Ng On Yee, followed by Ronnie O’Sullivan and Reanne Evans against Mark Selby and Rebecca Kenna.

English duo Selby and Kenna beat Robertson and Nutcharut 3-1 in the opening match during the afternoon session and scored another success by the same scoreline this evening against Trump and On Yee. They took the opening frame on the colours, then lost a 59-minute second frame which was resolved when Trump potted the final black.

Selby’s break of 68 gave his team a 2-1 lead and he made a 55 to take control of frame four. On Yee had a chance to clear but missed the penultimate red when trailing 59-47 and that proved the key moment.

After losing their opening match on Saturday afternoon, O’Sullivan and Evans bounced back in the evening session with a 3-1 success against Robertson and Nutcharut. They lost a 55-minute opening frame on the colours, then breaks of 111 and 68 from O’Sullivan put them 2-1 up and they secured victory in the fourth.

O’Sullivan said: “It has been good fun. You have to keep your concentration and try to support your partner, there’s a lot going on we are not used to. I don’t know whether to be quiet or whether I’m talking too much! We are feeding off each other. I am trying to get into the zone but also trying to do what feels right.

Evans added: “You have to try and go out and enjoy it, and try to play to your own ability. Who wouldn’t want to be paired with Ronnie!

The above video was shared on twitter by WST

The women generally gave a very good account of themselves. It was Mink who appeared to struggle a bit more with the pressure. Rebecca Kenna is probably the less fancied of the four but she has an excellent safety game and that proved to be a key element in their team success as she “earned” several opportunities for Mark Selby who then duly delivered.

Here are more images shared on social media by WST:

2022 British Open – Clive Everton Honoured

The season starts for good tomorrow with the invitational Mixed Doubles, and the ranking British Open will get underway on Monday. WPBSA/WST have decided to name the trophy after Clive Everton who recently announced his retirement. Here is the announcement:

British Open Trophy Named After Clive Everton

The trophy for next week’s Cazoo British Open has been named after Clive Everton, in honour of the legendary journalist and commentator who stepped down as editor of long-running magazine Snooker Scene this month.

The Cazoo British Open, televised by ITV, runs from September 26 to October 2 in Milton Keynes and the champion will lift the Clive Everton Trophy on the final night.

A former snooker and billiards player, Clive first commentated for the BBC in 1978 and went on to work for other broadcasters including ITV. His voice decorated many of the sport’s biggest moments for several decades.

In 1971, Clive took charge of the magazine Billiards and Snooker, and the following year it became Snooker Scene. He remained as editor for the next 50 years, one of the longest stewardships of any sports publication worldwide.

Snooker Scene played a crucial role in the politics of snooker as Clive scrutinised the action and decisions of the sport’s governing body. He played a vital role in the transition of power which led to Matchroom Sport and Barry Hearn taking the reigns of the WPBSA and WST in 2010.

Clive, age 85, has been widely recognised throughout the media world as an outstanding journalist and commentator. He was inducted into the Snooker Hall of Fame in 2017 and awarded an MBE in 2019.

WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “We felt that naming the British Open Trophy after Clive was a fitting tribute to him in the same month that he has retired from snooker journalism after more than 50 years. He has made an outstanding contribution to our sport and we will reflect on that each year when the Clive Everton Trophy is lifted. We wish him every happiness in his retirement.

This is indeed a well deserved recognition for an entire life devoted to support and promote the game we love. It would be great if Clive could be there in person to present the trophy in about 10 days from now.

The 900 – Andrew Norman wins Week 1

Andrew Norman was a deserved winner at the end of the 900 Week 1. He dominated the field yesterday evening and even made a 129 total clearance against Connor Benzey in his second match.

Congratulations Andrew!

This is how it unforlded:

It was high quality snooker and high scoring all evening . As a result the action finished well ahead of schedule.

Andrew was thrilled is you can imagine. What he earned yesterday is the equivalent of one month salary, but more importantly, it got him buzzing and enjoying his snooker again.

This is what he had to say:

Here are more pictures, shared by Jason and Andrew on social media:

It really was an enjoyable night of snooker… I stayed up watching right to the end of the final … well past 2am where I live! And the hubby as well!

David Hendon reflects on the importance of the Mixed Doubles for the Women’s game

This week-end, after weeks without professional snooker, we will welcome the 2022 Mixed Doubles. The event is on ITV main channel. Of course this isn’t available outside the UK (unless you use a VPN). It will also be on the Eurosport player (outside UK).

The tournament features only 8 players and is played over only two days, but David Hendon reckons that it is a very important milestone when it comes to promoting women in snooker and, possibly, attracting more girls and women to the sport.

Here is what he wrote for the Eurosport website:

WORLD MIXED DOUBLES IS ‘GIANT LEAP’ FOR WOMEN’S SNOOKER – AND CAN INSPIRE GIRLS TO PICK UP A CUE

The exciting World Mixed Doubles will see snooker’s top four women paired with the top four men as Reanne Evans, Ng On Yee, Mink Nutcharut and Rebecca Kenna receive equal billing with Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby, In his latest column, David Hendon says the event will underline that the sport is open for all and inspire the next generation of female players.

BY DAVE HENDON

This week’s World Mixed Doubles is the biggest showcase women’s snooker has ever had.

The game’s leading four female players have been paired with the world’s top four ranked professionals for the two-day event in Milton Keynes, which starts on Saturday.

This is an opportunity to show a different side of snooker at a time when women’s sport has arguably never been more popular. Indeed, the MK Dons stadium which forms part of the Marshall Arena complex hosted several games in the recent European Championship won so memorably by the Lionesses of England.

Well used to big tournaments, it’s one small step for the men. But it’s a giant leap for women’s snooker as Reanne Evans, Ng On Yee, Mink Nutcharut and Rebecca Kenna enjoy equal billing with Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby, who between them have won 105 ranking titles.

Evans is the most successful female player in history. She won her first world title at the age of 19 in 2005, the start of a remarkable run of 10 consecutive victories in the tournament. Evans has since won two more world titles and 59 ranking events in total.

In the 2013 Wuxi Classic, she became the first woman to qualify for the final stages of a ranking event on the pro tour. She beat Robin Hull in the 2017 World Championship qualifiers, ran Shaun Murphy to a decider in the 2019 Champion of Champions and came close to beating Mark Allen, her former partner, in a somewhat rancorous match at last season’s British Open.

At the mixed doubles, Evans is drawn to play with O’Sullivan and this star pairing must start as title favourites, not least because they know each other well from several years of exhibitions, legends events and working together in the Eurosport studio.

Evans, who was awarded an MBE in 2020, has been a fine ambassador for snooker and women’s sport. In more recent times, though, her supremacy has been threatened by the emergence of two talents from Asia, Hong Kong’s On Yee and Mink of Thailand.

It was On Yee who broke the Evans stranglehold on the World Championship in 2015. She has since won the premier women’s title on a further two occasions.

Enthusiastic and vivacious, On Yee has a strong support network in Hong Kong, including former top 16 player David Roe and the coach Wayne Griffiths, son of the 1979 world champion Terry. She has practised with Marco Fu and recently defeated former world champion Ken Doherty in the British Open qualifiers.

On Yee is partnered with Trump, who said of her: “Each time I see her, she seems like she is improving. I think she is spearheading the women’s game at the moment and managing to get the wins against the men. It’s a brilliant draw for me.”

Mink, who has just joined the pro tour, enjoyed success last month when she beat Mitchell Mann to qualify for the Northern Ireland Open.

The 22 year-old is the only female player to have made a witnessed maximum break and underlined her growing potential by winning the world title earlier this year.

Her mother worked in a snooker club in Thailand and her father enjoyed playing as a hobby, so she grew up around the sport, first picking up a cue at the age of 10. She is sponsored by the Hi-End club in Bangkok, which hosted the 2019 World Championship.

Mink will partner Robertson in Milton Keynes. She is at least guaranteed a better time than at the 2020 Shootout when she travelled thousands of miles to play, broke off, and sat out a total clearance of 133 from Thor Chuan Leong, therefore playing just one shot in the whole event.

Kenna runs Cue Sports Yorkshire, an equipment and accessories shop in Keighley, and her back story sums up the power of sport to connect and inspire people.

She began playing because her father was a huge fan of the game. He took her to clubs and snooker became a thing they did together at weekends.

Kenna was a promising footballer but dislocated her shoulder at around the time her dad died. Unable to play football or any other physical sport, and wanting to honour her father, she entered a local snooker tournament. It didn’t go well but she felt she could improve so joined the women’s circuit at the relatively late age of 26.

She has made good progress and won the Hong Kong Masters in 2019. Last month she was runner-up in the US Open.

Kenna is paired with Selby, who recently invited her for practise sessions at the Atack club in Nuneaton.

I never saw any women playing snooker on TV growing up. If I’d have seen women playing in a mixed doubles event with the world’s top four as a five-year-old, I would have gone, ‘wow, I want to do that now,’” she said last week.

Kenna’s comment crystalises why this new event is important to snooker. Nobody is disputing the gulf in standard between the top male and female players, but this is missing the point. The mixed doubles has been introduced in part to change the way the sport is viewed from the outside.

The first women’s World Championship was staged in 1934 and competitions came and went until the ladies’ game went into abeyance in the 1970s just as the professional circuit began to thrive.

Thanks largely to the efforts of Mandy Fisher, now president of Women’s World Snooker, the women’s game came back to life in the early 1980s. It has since enjoyed moments of profile, notably when Allison Fisher reigned supreme by winning seven world titles between 1985 and 1994, and endured times of struggle.

Fisher partnered Steve Davis in previous iterations of the mixed doubles event, winning the pairs title at the 1991 World Masters, the World Championship later that year and again in 1993, when she made the first century on television by a woman.

Fisher and several other leading players headed to the USA in the 1990s to compete on the more lucrative 9-ball pool circuit. Women’s snooker suffered as a result but since being taken over by the WPBSA in 2015, their association has seen its membership rise from 38 players to 177 from 29 countries and this season will stage tournaments in the USA, Australia, Thailand, Belgium and the UK.

Last year, World Snooker Tour designated the women’s circuit a feeder tour for the professional ranks, with two tour cards available each year for the best female players.

This progressive decision has not found universal favour within the game, but makes commercial sense as snooker – like all sports – fights for airtime, relevance and credibility.

This week, Evans, On Yee, Mink and Kenna will enjoy equal status with four greats of the sport. In doing so they will demonstrate that snooker is open to all and hopefully inspire girls who thought the sport wasn’t for them to give it a try. 

As Evans said last week: “Last year when I played on TV, I had a message from a father saying his daughter had seen me and wanted to play snooker. She’d only thought there were female referees, not players. Hopefully now people will see that women can do it, and will do it.”

What Mandy Fisher did for snooker as an inclusive sport is often underestimated… and that’s an understatement. I’m certain that most fans don’t even know her name, let alone her face. But the truth is that she kept women snooker going, for over 35 years, mostly alone, against all odds, despite prejudices, hurdles and lack of resources.

The main tour is open to all, but at grassroots level, girls and women have often felt unwelcome. Even now, some clubs and some leagues don’t allow them to play. Even now, parents introducing their daughter to snooker are the exception, whilst most top players started as kids and were introduced to the game and/or supported by a family member.

Make no mistake, gender prejudices exist in many sports and boys can be at the wrong end of it too. When we were kids, my brother had a classmate who wanted to be a dancer. He was mocked at school, he was bullied. But he didn’t let go of his dream. He was supported by his family. He dared to go and speak to Maurice Béjart himself, who encouraged him to continue to work on his skills. He ended up making a career as lead dancer at the “Ballet du XXe siècle”.

Support and exposure are key.

The 900 – Groups 1 and 2 – 20 September 2022

Jason’s Francis “youngest” brainchild took its first steps yesterday as the first two groups of this season “900” were played in the Crucible club in Reading.

A quick reminder: this competition is for amateurs only, it’s played under variant rules, similar to the shoot-out, it’s just one frame, over 15 minutes maximum and under a 20 seconds shot-clock.

Jason, as usual, did a sterling job. Thank you Jason!

The setup is really nice:

He got Michaela Tabb back to work

And a great commentary team: Neal Foulds, Rachel Casey, and “The Shirt” Lee Richardson.

Because of Queen Elisabeth II funerals, Group 1 had been postponed and we had two groups played yesterday. Exceptionally, Group 1 was played in the afternoon, which was great for me as … being in Greece, the “normal schedule” would be from midnight to 3 am here. Far too late for me, I’m afraid.

I really enjoyed it. This event is a celebration of diversity and there was real quality snooker on show.

Group 1:

Michael Collumb was the deserved winner of the first group, he played really well. There was plenty more to enjoy though. Not many would have given Dennis Taylor a chance, but he impressed. It’s quite obvious that he has put the work in for this one. Beating Billy Castle, who was playing well himself, is no mean feat. He may be retired and 73 years old but the inner competitive beast is well and truly alive! Take a bow Dennis!

Maria Catalano isn’t back to her former level. She has gone through extremely though times, following her father death. But she looked better – in a better place and playing better – than a few weeks ago and she appeared to enjoy her game against Dennis. This is a huge positive.

I enjoyed all the matches. Connor Benzey comes across as not just a very good prospect but a lovely young man as well.

Group 2:

I didn’t see much at all from this group. I’m not a night owl, I’m afraid.

Ashley Carty was probably the favourite on paper in this group, but he fell at the first hurdle. Over just one frame those things can happen of course. Zach Richardson won it.

Billy Castle, Dennis Taylor, Connor Benzey, Michael Collumb, Jamie Bodle, Zach Richardson, Andrew Norman and Stuart Reardon will compete today, aiming at reaching the Winners Week.

Here are some images shared on social media by Jason Francis and Michaela Tabb:

Martin O’Donnell wins the 2022 Q-Tour Event 2

Martin O’Donnell has won the second event of the 2022/23 Q-Tour. He now tops the table, with the same number of points as Ross Muir who has won Event 1. George Pragnell is third despite being the most consistent player in the series so far: he was the losing finalist in both events.

Here is the report shared by WST:

O’Donnell Wins Q Tour Event Two

Martin O’Donnell beat George Pragnell 5-1 in the final to win his first Q Tour title at Castle Snooker & Sports Bar in Brighton.

The event represented the second stop of the season on what has become established as snooker’s premier amateur tour, with two places on the World Snooker Tour to be won at the end of the campaign.

Former world number 32 O’Donnell began his quest on Saturday morning with victories against Jamie Wilson, Liam Graham and Florian Nuessle to qualify for what would prove to be a dramatic final day.

In his quarter-final he defeated fellow former professional Daniel Wells 4-3 following a tight deciding frame, before he repeated the feat against Ashley Carty having at one stage needed two snookers.

Awaiting him in the final would be Event 1 runner-up George Pragnell, who himself had survived two deciding-frame finishes on the final day to edge out Hamim Hussain and former World Snooker Federation Junior champion Gao Yang to reach his second consecutive Q Tour final.

The title match would prove to be a cagey affair early on as O’Donnell took the opening two frames, before Pragnell claimed the third to establish a foothold in the contest.

From there, however, Pragnell would score just a further 10 points as O’Donnell found his groove. Breaks of 54 and 71 were enough to see him claim a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval, before he added the following two highlighted by a final frame clearance of 135 to crown victory.

The success ensures that O’Donnell will move to top spot in the Q Tour rankings after two events, level with Event 1 champion Ross Muir, with the pair just £250 ahead of the two-time finalist Pragnell.

The 2022/23 Q Tour season continues with Event 3 which will be held at the Delta Moon venue in Mons, Belgium from 14-16 October 2022.

Following his defeat in this event Michael Georgiou came on social media, saying that he doesn’t enjoy competing anymore and that he would concentrate on coaching in the future, no more on competition. I’m wishing him the best in the future, whatever he decides to do. The tone of his posts was quite downbeat.

Ben Hancorn also hinted at putting an end to his professional ambitions. Ben stated that he had enjoyed his time on the tour and was proud of what he had achieved but that he feels it’s now time to move on. Ben proudly stressed that he is undefeated against Ronnie. Indeed they played just one match, in the 2021 Pro-Series and Ben won it by 2-1 … Ronnie made a 141 in the frame he won. All in good spirit.

The next Q-Tour event will be played in Belgium, in Mons. It’s a bit of an oddity because Mons is in the French speaking area of Belgium and snooker is mainly played in Flanders, the Dutch speaking area of Belgium. On the other hand, Mons is close to the French border, and easily accessible – both by car and train – from the Western and Southern part of Germany.

The Coming Mixed Doubles Challenges As Seen By Reanne and Rebecca

Reanne Evans and Rebecca Kenna have shared their thoughts, expectations and emotions ahead of the coming Mixed Double event.

Rebecca, who has been practising with Mark Selby, spoke to WST:

Kenna Hopeful Primetime Slot Can Inspire Next Generation

Rebecca Kenna is hoping this month’s BetVictor World Mixed Doubles event in Milton Keynes can “inspire” a generation of young girls across the country to pick up a cue.

After a summer that saw England’s Lionesses roar, a historic first Tour de France Femmes click into gear and England’s hockey stars strike gold at the Commonwealth Games, snooker is ready to take centre stage.

For the first time, the four women on the World Snooker Tour will be playing live on ITV. The event also marks 40 years since the network broadcast the inaugural World Doubles Championship back in 1982.

It’s just so fantastic that it’s on the main ITV channel because I never saw any women playing snooker on TV growing up,” said Kenna. “If I’d have seen women playing in a mixed doubles event with the world’s top four, as a five-year-old, I would have gone, ‘wow, I want to do that now!’ It’s a great incentive to see us on there. Hopefully, it does inspire some young girls to become professional snooker players and get the chance to play alongside those greats on live TV.

There’s also going to be a great incentive to join the women’s tour and get into that top four. And you never know, it might grow to a top eight and top 16. The tour might grow hugely from this and get more sponsorship, more players, better quality. Everything can then go in the right direction.”

Kenna will partner four-time World Champion Mark Selby for the event, in what she described as a “perfect” duo. But it won’t be the first time she has played in a team. Born in Keighley, just outside of Bradford, Kenna regularly played at The Liberal Club as a young girl with her dad by her side. Now 33, she hopes to lean on these experiences.

My dad was actually a big fan of Mark Selby. He unfortunately passed away in 2015. So it would have been really nice for him to see this. But, I hope he’s watching somewhere,” she said.

We used to play at club level and we never got nervous playing. But when he played with me, he’d say, ‘I’m a bit nervous, I wanna play well for you.’ And I’d say, ‘just relax, there’s no point in being stressed about it.’ So there is no point putting pressure on yourself or anyone else because there are other pressures. People watching on TV, people watching at home and in the crowd. If you have any external pressures on your shot, you’re not going to play very well. You just need to relax and play your own game.

Kenna heads into the event with momentum. A run to the final at the recent US Women’s Open in Seattle saw the women’s world number four not drop a frame in six matches before coming unstuck in the final against Jamie Hunter, losing 4-1.

While Kenna admits she didn’t deserve anything other than finishing second in the final, she enjoyed the experience of playing Stateside.

I loved Seattle,” she said. “There was a really good quality stream, with a commentator. People watching could get involved and talk back to us, they even had some players on commentary. They did really well trying to advertise it over there and it grew some new interest. Hopefully, more clubs might start to put snooker tables in their areas and not just play pool. But it was a really good experience. I hope we can go back in the future.

Just over two weeks have passed since Kenna returned from across the pond. A quick scan of her internal to-do list and she remembers she needs to check in on her shop, Cue Sports Yorkshire. Amongst practising, securing another sponsor and picking up a new car, Kenna found the time to make the journey down the M1 to meet the Jester from Leicester himself.

For the tournament, the rules state each player will take alternate visits to the table, rather than alternate shots, and Kenna admits the tactical side of the game is something she and Selby have discussed.

We’re not going to overthink it with who’s following who,” said Kenna. “We’re just going to play our own game and hopefully do well. You’ve got to take your chances and play the right shots.

The four men are all legends. And obviously, we know that they can score so heavily. So it might be on my mind that I don’t want to leave anyone anything. I don’t want to give them a sniff, because that might be the end of the frame. So I’ll be trying to pick out the best shot to play. If I’m in, try score, and if there isn’t a shot on, try play the best safety I can.

Those first quotes by Bex are very significant. I have written this many times: snooker, like all sports, is a number game. Girls need to see women play on the big stages to be inspired. Exceptional talents are … exceptional. The chances to identify one in a small “population” – which “female snooker players” currently is – are extremely low. Get more girls to play, make them feel welcome and the standard will improve.

Reanne was interviewed WST as reported by Phil Haigh and admits to mixed emotions

‘Mixed emotions’ – Reanne Evans on partnering Ronnie O’Sullivan at World Mixed Doubles

Phil Haigh Thursday 15 Sep 2022

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Reanne Evans will be tough to beat at the World Mixed Doubles (Pictures: Getty)

Reanne Evans admits there were some mixed emotions when she was partnered with Ronnie O’Sullivan for the World Mixed Doubles as performing in front of the greatest player of all time brings some pressure with it.

The brand new tournament starts on 24 September and sees the top four male players in the world team with the top four female players, which has obviously produced some exciting pairings.

Judd Trump teams up with Ng On Yee, Neil Robertson is paired with Mink Nutcharut and Mark Selby partners Rebecca Kenna, but Ronnie and Reanne is undoubtedly the highest profile team.

Clearly Evans was delighted to be drawn alongside the current world champion and world number one, but she admits it does come with some pressure as well as she doesn’t want to let the Rocket down.

Mixed emotions,’ Evans told WST on being paired with O’Sullivan. ‘I was like, you’ve got the best player in the world, the best player ever to pick up a cue, in my eyes. But then you’ve also got to perform in front of him as well!

He’s a great guy and I’ve had the privilege to play with him and against him in Snooker Legends and exhibitions.

Hopefully it’ll make me a little bit more relaxed because I’ve been there and done it. Obviously not on TV in a proper match, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully he is too.

Whoever Evans was paired with, the team element of snooker is very different to a normal match and it does pile the pressure on.

I used to play league competitions with a team, you’re not just playing for yourself, its a different mindset, a different pressure,’ she explained.

If I miss I’ve let myself down normally, but now I’ve let Ronnie down, let my team down It’s a mix of pressures and emotions. But I’m looking forward to it, it’s exciting and a really good format.

I’m just going to go out there and try and enjoy it as much as I can, then hopefully we can win the thing, but it’s a flip of a coin. Anyone can win it, so I’m just looking forward to it.’