Reanne Evans pulled off an amazing victory over John Higgins in snooker’s battle of the sexes at the Six Reds World Championship, in association with 888sport.com, in Killarney tonight.
Evans, the reigning women’s world champion, made a superb 51 break to secure the decider and complete a dramatic 4-3 defeat of the current Crucible king.
A tired Higgins had lost a gripping UK Championship final to Ding Junhui just 48 hours earlier and failed to find his top form.
But Evans played well from the start and came close to winning 4-2 before Higgins scrambled the sixth frame on the pink.
He was in first in the decider but, with standing room only for a sizeable crowd at the INEC arena, broke down on just three and Evans killed off frame and match in a single visit.
“John wasn’t firing on all cylinders after the week he’s just had but you have to take advantage,” said West Midlander Evans.
“This is one of my best ever wins. John is world champion, provisional world no.1 and will always be remembered as one of snooker’s greatest players.
“I was pleased with how I finished it off. There were a lot of people watching but that helped me to play well rather than put me under pressure.”
Higgins won his opening match, 4-1 against James Corbett, and is still likely to qualify for the knockout phase.
Evans is almost certain to be through having already beaten Aaron Doran 4-1 before her clash with Higgins.
In another surprise result, 2008 Shanghai Masters champion Ricky Walden was beaten 4-3 by Irishman Declan Brennan.
Six reds snooker is played using the same rules as the established game but with nine fewer reds. It has been described as snooker’s version of Twenty/20 cricket.
The tournament runs until Friday. Entry is free for the first two days with tickets costing €10 on the final two days.
The 130 players from as far afield as Brazil, India and the United Arab Emirates have been split into 23 groups for the round robin stage, played over the first two days, with the knockout phase getting underway on Thursday.
The last two days are being broadcast live on Eurosport and the winner will pocket a cheque for €10,000.
Results and group draws available at: www.6redworldchampionships.com