Reanne Evans believes the snooker Shoot Out is the perfect platform for women to enter the sport as professionals – and is hoping she can make it third time lucky at the event.
Twelve-time women’s world champion Evans made history in the Shoot Out in 2019 as the first woman to compete on television in the final stages of a world ranking event.
She lost to Jimmy White in her opening match of the one-frame tournament and was also beaten in the first round last year by Ian Burns.
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Evans will be competing at the Shoot Out this year along with Rebecca Kenna, who will be making her professional debut.
Evans: 'Brilliant for women to get involved' at Shoot Out
“It’s brilliant for women to get involved, especially in this format,” Evans, who faces Si Jiahui in the first round on Friday, told Eurosport.
“There is pressure with the format but it’s a good platform for women to start as there are not any expectations because anybody can twitch any ball they are going for with the clock and the beep.
It’s a really good start for women to get involved and win a game or two because it’s more of a leveller. You just need to get in first in the Shoot Out and try to take control of the game. It’s a good platform for Becks as a first professional tournament and it’s really good to see.
The Shoot Out format sees players compete in one-frame matches which last 10 minutes and with a shot clock that limits players to 15 seconds per shot for the first five minutes of each frame, and 10 seconds for the last five minutes.
It starts on Thursday, February 4 and will be held in Milton Keynes this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m excited just to play a bit of snooker,” said Evans.
“It’s going to be different without the crowd but I am really looking forward to it.”
Reflecting on her debut in the event in 2019, she added: “When I got the call I was excited. I didn’t know what to expect with the crowd and how loud they would be.
"Playing Jimmy I think it helped because I have known him for years and he has given me bits of advice and things like that, but I was still so nervous, you can’t prepare yourself for it.
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“Every player on tour would get nervous in that situation. Last year I felt a bit more comfortable even though I didn’t really get a shot, hopefully third time lucky, fingers crossed!”
No player ranked in the top 16 in the world has yet won the tournament in 11 seasons.
And with Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Ronnie O’Sullivan not involved this year, it looks as wide open as ever as 128 players battle for the £50,000 winner’s prize.
“Anyone in the draw can win, it’s just pot luck,” said Evans.
“I’m going to go out and enjoy it and hopefully the balls go in the pockets for me!”
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