Phil Haigh ✍️
The new event will see the top four men in the world rankings and the four women on the professional tour compete over two days this September, with a winning pair emerging as the first champions.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby will each pair up with one of Evans, Ng On Yee, Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Rebecca Kenna at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.
Evans hopes that there can be much more to come, as she echoes the thoughts of three-time world champion Mark Williams that it would be great to have the whole professional tour involved in a doubles event.
‘Hopefully it can go on to be a little mini tour, have a couple a season or something,’ Evans told Metro.co.uk.
‘I think a general doubles event would be good on the main tour. I saw Williams’ tweet earlier saying a random draw and everyone on tour entering, I think that would be good.
‘It’s just something a bit different. People were wary of the Shoot Out but people have come to love it – and hate it – but it’s one of those. I’m all for trying new things and see where it goes.’
The World Mixed Doubles is a new addition to the professional tour, but Evans won a non-professional version of the event four times in the past, including once with Neil Robertson back in 2008.
‘We used to have the one that ran alongside the Women’s World Championship, I played with Neil and Michael Holt,’ she said.
‘I was a bit gutted that stopped really, quite a few pros used to enter, it used to be quite good. Martin Gould, Gary Wilson, Joe Perry, Holt, Ben Woollaston, Robertson loads of good pros played in it and it was good for the ladies as well.’
The new tournament is going to be a lot higher profile than that previous incarnation, broadcast live on ITV, and Evans is excited to see which of the four top players she is paired with in the random draw ahead of the event.
‘It’s great to have the biggest names,’ she said. ‘If you want to promote something it’s the best way to do it, and hopefully it will become even bigger and better.
‘I think everyone’s been wanting something like this to happen. I’m looking forward to it.’
On which partner she would want, Reanne added: ‘I think they can all hold their own can’t they?
‘I played with Neil in the one alongside the Women’s. I’ve played with Ronnie in Snooker Legends. I haven’t played with Mark or Judd, so that would be a bit different. Any of them you’d be happy with. They’re not too bad.’
Evans is relishing the new tournament added to the calendar after a difficult first season of her two-year tour card, coming onto the professional circuit in a tricky time for the sport as snooker deals with the absence of big-money Chinese events due to the pandemic.
World Snooker Tour are doing their best to keep all the players involved in the highest profile events, but with Chinese events missing since 2019, it has been tough.
‘When this season’s calendar came out originally it was a bit sparse and a bit disappointing really, obviously with China still not involved, it’s a big blow,’ said the 12-time women’s world champion. ‘It’s a shame, but I’m sure we’ll get back out there. We’ve just got to deal with what we’ve got and get on with it.
‘When you get the chance to become a professional, you want to experience every angle possible, like going to China where it’s so big. Last time I went there I couldn’t believe that people knew who I was. People on my street don’t know who I am! Hopefully we’ll get to do it again.’
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