Mixed doubles snooker: Top female players join men to ‘inspire young girls’ in new event

Judd Trump and Ng On-yee are one of four pairings in the round-robin format
Dates: 24-25 September Venue: Stadium MK Session times: 13:00 and 19:00 BST

Female players hope a new televised mixed doubles event will inspire young women to get into snooker.

The world’s top four women and men are teaming up 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 inspire a younger audience to get into the sport,” said Hong Kong’s Ng.

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

“The world has been changing and gender is no longer a barrier to many things,” Ng, who is paired with Trump, told BBC Sport World Service’s Sportshour.

“It has always been my dream to play on TV so my friends and family could see me.”

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

“It’s a great incentive to see us on there. Hopefully, it does inspire some young girls to become professional snooker players and get the chance to play alongside those greats on live TV.”

Robertson believes there can be a female winner of a ranking snooker event as more women come through.

“The physical advantages for men aren’t the same level as other sports,” he told the World Snooker Tour.

“Cue power is a subject you could maybe talk about, but with the cloths we play on it is more about the timing. All four of the women in this event can play all the shots.”

The 12-time women’s world champion Evans is teamed with 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?

A series of four-frame round-robin matches will be followed by a best-of-seven-frames final.

The players will make alternate visits to the table rather than playing alternate shots, and score one point for each frame won.

The event, broadcast on ITV, will see the top two teams go through 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


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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