Victory For Bai / Evans Keeps Tour Card
China’s Bai Yulu beat Reanne Evans 4-3 in a thrilling final to win her first women’s world ranking event title at the Landywood British Open.
While defeat in the final was disappointing for Evans, she had the consolation of returning to the top of the women’s world rankings which means she receives a new two-year card to the World Snooker Tour. Evans and Ng On Yee went into the weekend knowing that whoever finished the tournament higher in the rankings would earn the tour card. Ng trailed, but could have surpassed Evans with a deep run. But defeat for Ng in the quarter-finals, beaten 3-2 by Bai, means that the Hong Kong player loses her place on the pro circuit.
Bai, 19, was competing in only her second event on the World Women’s Snooker (WWS) Tour after she reached the final of the World Championship on her debut just two months ago, and duly added to her growing reputation as one of the most exciting talents in the women’s game with victory at the season finale.
Bai becomes the sixth different player to win a main ranking tournament during the 2022/23 season, following glory for Evans, Mink Nutcharut, Jamie Hunter, Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and World Champion Baipat Siripaporn.
Having begun her campaign in the group stages, Bai defeated world number 10 Steph Daughtery and debutant Deb Major to reach the knockout rounds, before overcoming Daisy May Oliver, Keerath Bhandaal, Ng On Yee and Ploychompoo Laokiatphong to reach her second consecutive final.
Awaiting her in the title match would be record six-time British Open winner Evans, after the English star survived a hard-fought last 16 match against Bayarsaikhan Narantuya to win 3-1, before overcoming Maria Catalano and Rebecca Kenna.
A repeat of their semi-final at the World Championship in March, the final would prove to be a high-quality encounter as Bai claimed the opening frame before the pair traded breaks of 75 and 66 to see the teenager lead 2-1.
Back came Evans with a top run of 55 as she won two consecutive frames to lead for the first time at 3-2 and move to within a frame of the title, but it was to be Bai’s day as she drew level with a break of 40, before winning a nervy deciding-frame to secure her first major title on the WWS Tour.
Bai also compiled the highest break of the tournament with a run of 105 during her victory against Daisy Oliver on Saturday evening.
Mary Talbot-Deegan secured her second Seniors title of the season following a 2-1 victory against Tessa Davidson. Fresh from success in the over-40s category at the World Championship in Thailand, the 42-year-old defeated Marianne Williams, Jan Hughes and Sarah Dunn to reach the final.
It was Seniors number one Davidson who dominated the opener as she restricted her opponent to just a single point, but Talbot-Deegan hit back to avenge defeat to her opponent at the same stage of the event last season.
The Challenge Cup was won by Emma Parker, who won a repeat final against Steph Daughtery from this season’s Eden Masters Challenge event. Played using the six red format, the day saw Parker defeat Jasmine Bolsover, Clare Gamble, Phimchanok Phoemphul, Chloe Payne and ultimately Daughtery to emerge victorious.
The Under-21 competition was not completed due to the progress of both Bai Yulu and Ploychompoo Laokiatphong in the main competition during the weekend. Scotland’s Sophie Nix reached her second junior final following wins against debutant Yiran Zhao and second ranked junior Zoe Killington, but the final will be played at a later date, with the matches in the top half of the draw up to and including the final to be played on Monday 16th May.
World Women’s Snooker would like to thank everyone who has supported the tournament, including Paul Lloyd, owner of our host and sponsors at the fantastic Landywood Snooker Club.
The WWS Tour will return for the 2023/24 season with the second staging of the US Women’s Open from 11-13 August. View the announced dates so far at our Calendar page.