Evans hopes for O'Sullivan match at Champion of Champions

Snooker
Evans hopes for O'Sullivan match at Champion of Champions

Reanne Evans is hoping to face five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan after qualifying for snooker's Champion of Champions event.

Britain's top female player will become the first woman to compete against the world's best men in the televised tournament in Coventry.

Her place at the 16-player event was confirmed when O'Sullivan won the Shanghai Masters.

"It's brilliant news. I'd like to play Ronnie I think," said Evans, 33.

"I have played against him a couple of times in exhibitions and played with him. The crowds love him, so the atmosphere would be amazing."

The Champion of Champions, which takes place at the Ricoh Arena from 4 to 10 November, features tournament winners from the previous 12 months.

Qualifiers are guaranteed a minimum of 12,500, with the winner earning 150,000, while total prize money for the 2019 women's world championship was 15,000.

Evans told BBC Sport she hopes the event, which sees players drawn into groups of four, can be "a big step forward" for the women's game and snooker in general.

"It's not going to be easy, but it will be a great experience. You dream of playing in such events at those kind of venues," said Evans, who is from Dudley in the West Midlands.

"It's fairly local and I've been as a spectator, so to get to play there will be class."

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Evans triumphed for a 12th time this year at the Women's World Snooker Championship, which this season was listed 27th on the list of qualifying events for the Coventry tournament.

It meant she needed players to pick up multiple titles from events higher up the list - but her place was assured when defending champion O'Sullivan took the Shanghai Masters, having already qualified as UK champion, Players champion and Tour Championship winner.

O'Sullivan, who has won the Champions of Champions tournament three times and finished second twice since it was first held in 2013, is set to play again along with fellow former champions John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy.

The tournament, which is shown on ITV4, features four groups of four players over four days, with the winner of each group reaching the semi-finals.

Earlier this year, Evans made history along with Emma Parker at the Snooker Shoot Out as they became the first women to play on television in the final stages of a ranking event in the UK. But Evans has never played competitive matches on television against opponents in the world top 16.

Parker won the UK Women's Under-21 title at the weekend, while Evans took the overall title for a ninth time to extend her unbeaten run on the Women's World Snooker Tour to 11 months, with seven consecutive victories.

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