It's not just a big day for Mark Selby and Stephen Lee but also for Michaela Tabb who has become the first woman ever to referee one of snooker's 'big three' finals.

Michaela has donned her white gloves for the final of the Saga Insurance Masters at Wembley Arena.

The venue holds 4,000 and is around three quarters full so the pressure is on her as well as Selby and Lee.

“I’ve tried not to think about it too much this last week and just concentrate on the other matches because I knew it was such a daunting prospect,” Tabb told me in an interview for the Scottish Sunday Herald.

“However, when I refereed Marco Fu against Ding Junhui and there was plenty of audience involvement I found myself thinking how on earth I’m going to cope with 4,000 people.”

Tabb was an experienced pool referee before being fast-tracked into snooker in 2001 by the WPBSA, together with broadcasters, wishing to change what they considered to be the game’s somewhat conservative image.

Initial opposition from some of the old guard and inevitable politically incorrect comments from a sport whose circuit is roughly 95% male have quickly receded into memory as Tabb gradually grew to be respected as an efficient presence in the arena.

“Every step along the way has been a big one for me,” she said. “My first TV match was major, so was my first quarter-final and then my first semi-final and of course the Welsh Open final last season.

“I’m hoping to do the world final next year or the year after. That’s the one I want to do. It may sound selfish but I’m not going to let another woman come and steal that from me.

“Snooker is very male dominated but I feel like I’m just another ref now, which is as it should be. I’ve been accepted and I enjoy the attention I still get because it’s always good natured.”

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