World No 1 spot in sight – why it’s only the beginning for Hong Kong snooker queen Ng On-yee
The 27-year-old is seeded two for the first women’s snooker ranking tournament of year at the British Open
Hong Kong’s Ng On-yee has her first chance of the year to close in on the world’s number one ranking when she competes in this weekend’s WLBS British Open at Stourbridge Institute, West Midlands in England.
The world champion is 1,550 points behind top-ranked Englishwoman Reanne Evans in the rankings and is confident of performing well in the opening event of 2018 after winning five tournaments in 2017 – the most by any woman and her best season as a pro.
The 27-year-old said her 2017 success was only the start of what she hoped was a long career in the sport.
“A lot of people have asked whether this defines the peak of my career. For me it is quite the opposite,” she told the WLBS website. “I believe this is only the beginning of a very long career for me.
“Even the best player cannot guarantee that he or she will win every game, but I believe there’s still a lot for me to learn both on and off the table – and if I keep on learning, I can only get stronger.
— World Women’s Snooker Tour (@WLBSofficial) February 14, 2018
“In particular I have recently been working really hard on improving my scoring and break building.”
Evans has 72,600 ranking points going into the tournament with Ng on 71,050. The winner earns 7,500 points and the runner-up 6,000.
Evans and Ng, as the top two seeds, go straight into the last 16 this weekend while the rest of the field, including Hong Kong’s Jaique Ip Wan-in, Wan Ka-kai and Mini Chu Pui-ying, play in round-robin preliminaries.
The rankings also take into account points won from last year and these are removed from the total. The British Masters is the last ranking event before the world championship in Malta from March 14-17.
For Ng, the highlight of 2017 was winning her second world title by beating 11-time champion Evans and then India’s Vidya Pillai in the final. She then went on to win world crowns at Six and Ten levels.
She also won the UK Women’s Championship and Women’s Masters in the 2017-18 season after losing to Evans in the final of the Paul Hunter Women’s Classic.
Ng said she was also hopeful that more professional tournaments would come to Hong Kong after she took part in an exhibition against past legends Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry last summer ahead of the Hong Kong Masters, which was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover to Chinese rule.
“It makes me very happy to see more opportunities and greater awareness for snooker in Asia, [such as] the world championship being held in Singapore and the first Hong Kong Masters,” she said.
“In Hong Kong, we always have full support from the government and Hong Kong people. Tickets sold very well, meaning we have increased number of snooker fans.
“I don’t see why we cannot have similar matches or exhibition opportunities in the future. Hopefully this can be a yearly cultural event, along with sports including Formula E, volleyball and marathons.”