“It was awful and I wouldn’t want to do it again really.”
Northern Irishman Mark Allen hoped he would never have to play his former partner Reanne Evans again after winning a British Open ‘battle of the exes’ hailed as one of snooker’s most intense matches ever.
The former couple, who have a 14-year-old daughter, met for the first time on Monday night as professionals in a ranking tournament after 12-times women’s world champion Evans earned a two-year pro tour card.
Mark Allen v Reanne Evans.
Allen, ranked 12th in the world, won the match 3-2 at Leicester’s Morningside Arena after coming back from 60-22 down in the fourth frame.
British media reported the pair had broken up acrimoniously in 2008, with a subsequent dispute over child maintenance payments further souring relations.
Evans declined a fist bump with her opponent before the opening break, explaining later that she had been told at the start there were to be “no handshakes or anything.”
— Live Snooker (@Livesnooker) August 16, 2021
Mark Allen: I never want to play Reanne Evans again.,
“It’s been the most intense match I have probably ever witnessed,” seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry said in his role as a television pundit for ITV.
“It was awful and I wouldn’t want to do it again really,” said Allen.
“She played much better than me but I made a good break to win it. She potted some unbelievable individual balls. She was very unfortunate not to go on and win 3-1.”
“I was actually really proud of myself out there,” Evans said.
“In the first frame, I couldn’t feel my legs or my arms. I don’t know how the first few pots went in.
“After that, I settled a bit and was taken aback by a few misses and top players do what they do and you’ve got to respect that.
“I’m absolutely gutted but proud at the same time.”
Reanne Evans on why she didn’t fist-bump Mark Allen.
On her decision not to engage in a fist bump pre-match, Evans explained:
“It was a bit of everything really. I wasn’t intending to do it with Covid and everything and I was told there would be no handshakes so I just headed straight to the table and that’s it at the end of the day.”