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Page last updated at 20:15 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 21:15 UK

Reanne Evans invited to play in snooker World Open

Barry Hearn
Hearn is offering amateur players a chance to play the professionals

Six-times ladies world champion Reanne Evans will compete against the sport's leading men after being invited to play for a place in the World Open.

Evans will be one of 32 amateurs who will need to win two matches against professionals to reach the finals.

World snooker chief Barry Hearn said: "I want to open the door to the talent that's not out there on the main tour."

Evans, 24, will also be able to play on next season's new Pro Tour and said the decision was "a great chance".

The Dudley-based amateur, who beat men's world champion John Higgins at the Six Reds World Championship in December, said: "It's been a long time coming for the women's game. I've done everything I can in the sport but this will be a great chance.

"It's exactly what I have worked so hard for."

World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman Hearn said:"We've got 96 players on the main tour and they'll be allowed to play in every Pro Tour event, but logistically quite a few won't be able to, for whatever reason.

606: DEBATE

"Some may not want to get out of bed to win £10,000. That's a shame - and a mistake. They'll drop like stones in the ratings if they're not careful.

"But the shortfall in numbers will be made up by amateurs qualifying and that's where Reanne will get her chance, and other players of ability will get their chance to come through qualifying rounds."

Evans, who has won six consecutive world titles, will also get the chance to put herself forward for most of the Pro Tour events set to be staged in Britain and Europe.

Evans, who picked up £1,000 for winning the world title in April, will be able to win prize money if she reaches the final stages of the World Open which runs between 18 and 26 September in Glasgow.

Hearn confirmed that Glasgow may not be a permanent home for the World Open, which will carry total prize money of £500,000 in its first year since replacing the Grand Prix.

He said: "Events like the World Open have the ability to move around the world as a franchise effectively. This year it will be in Scotland but next year who's to say it won't be in Macau?"



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see also
Title despair for champion Evans
20 Nov 09 |  Snooker
Evans denied world title defence
20 Nov 09 |  Snooker
Record-breaker Evans keeps title
08 May 08 |  Snooker
Evans geared up for fourth title
29 Apr 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix draw
17 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Grand Prix final scores
19 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker


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