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closing the gap

Snooker world braces itself for first ever Male vs. Female tournament clash

“Women weren’t allowed in the (snooker hall) unless they were working in the bar,” world champion Reanne Evans revealed.

REANNE EVANS WON the snooker World Ladies Championship in April and took home a winners’ cheque of £400 — some £249,600 short of the prize-money Ronnie O’Sullivan earned for capturing the men’s equivalent.

Evans, the nine-time women’s world champion, is set to eclipse that meagre pay-day next month when she takes on Neil Roberston [2010 men's world champion] in the first-round of the Wuxi Classic in China. A defeat against Robertson would see the 27-year-old a cheque for £3,000 but she has her eyes on a bigger prize.

Evans qualified by right for the Chinses event when she defeated world number 69, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh of Thailand in an event held in Gloucester.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast today, Evans spoke about her ambitions to appear at all of snooker’s major tournaments and achieve parity in the sport. She said, “[The difference] is not strength or anything like that. Women don’t get the same chance as men. They don’t get paid as much so they don’t get to practice as much, so they have to work and juggle [practice] with that.”

Evans declared that some snooker halls were in a time warp when it came to allowing female players to use their facilities. When asked about her beginnings as a snooker, she recalled, “Women weren’t allowed in the [snooker hall] room unless they were working in the bar.”

YouTube credit: BBCWorldNewsWatch

Evans added that ’99% of male players are very supportive’ of her quest to compete in the top tournaments, against the likes of O’Sullivan and Roberston.

She said, “Hopefully this will get ladies to pick up a cue and say ‘I can play. I can beat you’.”

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