Reanne Evans has insisted that she was told not to take part in any pre-match handshakes before her tense British Open clash against ex Mark Allen – before which she left him hanging.
World No.10 Allen who won the 2018 Masters, had been drawn with 12-time women’s world champion Evans in the first round of the returning tournament more than a decade after their split.
The pair got together back in 2005 and had a daughter the following year before calling time on their relationship in 2008 and entering a custody battle ahead of further friction at the Crucible earlier this year.
With all eyes on how the pair would interact having been drawn to play each other in Leicester, Evans has now explained why she didn’t fist bump her former flame before the match.
Evans said: “I was told at the start no handshakes or anything because of Covid, so I was visualising starting the match and just went straight to the table.
“No one wanted that match but you have to accept it, it’s sport and these things are going to happen.
“I am sick of losing these deciders. I couldn’t feel my arms or my legs by the end, with all the nerves and tension. I did settle a bit after the first frame and fancied the job.”
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With Allen surviving a big scare to go and win the game 3-2, Stephen Hendry admitted on ITV Sport that it could have been the most intense game he had even seen.
He said: “Both players have shown great character. It’s been the most intense match I have probably ever witnessed.”
With Allen through to the next round, he had time to praise the performance of the mother of his eldest child before turning his attention to the following match-up.
He said: “She played much better than me but I made a good break to win it. She potted some unbelievable individual balls. She was very unfortunate not to go on and win 3-1.”
Before adding of the match and fist-bump snub: “It was horrible, and not something I really want to be doing again. I tried to stay professional and I think I did that and can hold my head up high.
“Reanne played really well for two and a half frames. I’d rather not answer any questions about her refusing the fist-bump.
“I just wanted to get through this match for obvious reasons, but overall my form is good and hopefully I can take that on now.”
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