Mixed doubles pool: Top female players team up with men in new event to ‘inspire young girls’.


Judd Trump and Ng On-yee are one of four pairs in the round-robin format
Dates: September 24-25 Place: Stadium MK Session times: 1pm and 7pm BST

Female players hope a new televised mixed doubles event will encourage young women to take up snooker.

Four of the world’s best women and men have come together for the competition in Milton Keynes on Saturday and Sunday.

Reanne Evans, Ng On-yee, Nutcharut ‘Mink’ Wongharuthai and Rebecca Kenna will join Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.

“I hope it will encourage the young audience to take up the sport,” said Ng from Hong Kong.

It is the first time since 1991 that a mixed doubles snooker event has been televised.

“The world has changed and gender is not a barrier to many things,” Ng, paired with Trump, told BBC Sport World Service’s Sportshour.

“It’s always been my dream to play on TV so my friends and family can see it.”

England’s Kenna, who will play Australia’s Robertson, said: “If I had seen the women play in a mixed doubles event in the top four in the world, as a five-year-old I would have said, ‘Wow, I want to do that now.’

“It’s a great incentive to see us there. Hopefully we can inspire some young girls to become professional snooker players and get the chance to play alongside these greats on TV.”

Robertson believes there can be a female winner in a ranking snooker event as more women attend.

“The physical advantages for men are not at the same level as other sports,” he said on the World Snooker Tour.

“Cue power is maybe one thing you can talk about, but it’s more about timing with the cues we play with. All four women in this event can hit every shot.”

12-time women’s world champion Evans is joined by seven-time men’s champion O’Sullivan, while Selby and Wongharuthai complete the line-up.

“The biggest thing for me is that it’s promoting the women’s game, which is fantastic,” said three-time world champion Selby.

How does the competition work?

Four-frame round-robin matches will be followed by a best-of-seven-frame final.

Players will make alternating visits to the table instead of alternating shots, and will score one point for each frame won.

The event, which is broadcast on ITV, will see the top two teams advance to the final.

In the last televised mixed doubles event in 1991, Steve Davis and Allison Fisher teamed up to win the title in Hamburg, beating Stephen Hendry and Stacey Hillyard in the final.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Reanne Evans
O’Sullivan and Evans have 19 world titles between them

Pairings

Ronnie O’Sullivan (England) / Reanne Evans (England)

Judd Trump (England) / Ng On-yee (Hong Kong)

Mark Selby (England) / Rebecca Kenna (England)

Neil Robertson (Australia) / Nutcharut ‘Mink’ Wongharuthai (Thailand)

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