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Ng On-yee

Ng On-yee eyes Reanne Evans’ record: Hong Kong’s three-time world champion wants 11 titles

The 27-year-old knows it won’t be easy given the growing depth of women’s snooker; and she also wants to succeed in men’s tournament

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 March, 2018, 8:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 March, 2018, 10:56pm

Hong Kong’s queen of the baize, Ng On-yee, has always admired 11-time world champion Reanne Evans. Now’s she wants to match the Englishwoman’s feat.

Fresh from her latest success in Malta, where she won her third world title in five years, the 27-year-old Ng said upon her return to Hong Kong on Monday that she hoped to scoop as many world championships as Evans, who has dominated women’s snooker for years.

“Yes, it’s a very big target [winning 11 world titles] and there is still a far way to go before reaching it,” said Ng who has reached all five world finals since 2014. “But Evans is always a good role model to learn from. She is a comprehensive player, her break building and safety play are very strong.”

The 32-year-old Evans was stunned by fellow Englishwoman Maria Catalano, a cousin of men’s star Ronnie O’Sullivan, in the semi-finals in Malta, losing 4-3.

Ng, in contrast, dominated the tournament, coasting to victory without dropping a frame. She thrashed Catalano 5-0 in the final. As good as Ng is – she’s also the game’s world No 1 – her coach Alan Wong Tak-wah, said it would not be easy for Ng to emulate Evans’ 11 world titles.

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“The women’s competition is getting tougher and tougher nowadays,” said Wong. “Back in those days Evans did not have too many strong opponents when she dominated the world championship.

“It was a bit of a surprise in Malta that Ng won a third title without losing a fame. In fact, her quarter-final was supposed to be very difficult, but she came through in straight frames against Wendy Jans. The two Thai girls are also coming up very strong and Ng must be at her best to beat them.”

Jans, of Belgium, had prevailed over Ng at the IBSF World Championship over the past three years and the Hong Kong star also lost to 18-year-old Nutcharat Wongharuthai, of Thailand, in the British Open last month.

Ng said she still had to improve her overall game strategy to enhance her break building but she was happy she was able to control her emotions and cue action in Malta – lessons she learned from an unsuccessful defence of her world title in 2016.

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“I didn’t have much pressure throughout the tournament, perhaps that was also because I had little expectations,” she said. “The only moment I felt nervous was when I was leading 4-0 in the final as all of a sudden I realised I was very close to making it.

“Fortunately there was a 15-minute break in the best-of-nine tie and I took full advantage of the time, calming my mind during that period.”

Ng’s long-term target remains to take part in more men’s events and her world title will likely give her a wild card into the qualifying competition for the men’s world championship next month.

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“It will be my third attempt in the men’s world event and the previous two occasions were disasters,” she said. “I was too eager to win but suffered big defeats in the opening round of the qualifiers.

“I will definitely change my mentality this time and not think too much about winning. I will just go out and enjoy every moment, just like the way I played in the women’s worlds and hopefully there will be a change.”