Reanne Evans scored the best result of her career so far by beating Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-4 to qualify for the final stages of the Wuxi Classic.
The nine-time World Ladies Champion registered her first win in a full ranking event with a superb display against Thailand’s world number 69 Un-Nooh.
Evans, from Dudley in the West Midlands, goes through to the Wuxi Classic in China, which runs from June 17-23, and will face world number two Neil Robertson in the last 64.
The 27-year-old was handed a wild card to the World Snooker Tour in 2010/11 but failed to win a match throughout the season. She played in Q School – the qualifying event for the tour – earlier this month, and though she didn’t earn a tour card, she won enough matches to gain entry into the Wuxi Classic, competing as an amateur.
Against Un-Nooh, she came from 3-0 down to lead 4-3 with a top break of 52. Un-Nooh recovered to 4-4 but Evans dominated the decider and won it with runs of 38 and 29.
“It’s definitely the best result of my career so far,” said Evans, who is now guaranteed £3,000 prize money. “Hopefully this will show other women what can be done in snooker and there will be more to follow me. It’s perfect timing after we did Ladies Day at the Crucible a few weeks ago.
“It’s a really big win for me because I have done it on merit. I played well in Q School and my results there have earned me this chance.
“I’ve never been to China before but I’m really excited about it now and hopefully it will give me the chance to boost my profile out there.
“I started off slowly today, I was a bit nervous early on, but once I won a frame I settled down and played well. My safety was good and that’s what got me through in the end. I felt fine in the last frame then afterwards I was speechless.”
WPBSA Chairman Jason Fergsuon said: “We are doing what we can to try to develop ladies snooker and this gives it a massive boost. It’s a tremendous achievement for Reanne.”
Former World Champion Robertson scored a 147 maximum break – the second of his career and 98th in snooker history – in a 5-0 win over Mohamed Khairy.