Ng On Yee receiving the trophy from WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson
The Hong Kong China star becomes the first winner of the tournament which was held alongside the World Snooker Federation Junior Championship in Southeast Europe and underline her status as one of the outstanding players of the season so far.
The success is a significant one for the three-time world champion and not only represents her second title of the current season following her win at the Australian Open last October, but also ends a run of final defeats to Nutcharut at the US Open and Belgian Open events in recent months.
The Mission of The Snooker Gym is
to help people just like you play better snooker
Ng has now won 19 ranking tournaments on the World Women’s Snooker Tour during her career so far and her triumph in Albania would prove to be one of the hardest earned of those crowns so far, with a strong field which featured nine of the world’s top 12 ranked players.
Having progressed through a difficult group which included exciting Chinese talent Bai Yulu, Ng then defeated Diana Schuler in the preliminary knockout round, before surviving deciding frame finishes against 12-time world champion Reanne Evans (3-2) in the last eight and world number four Rebecca Kenna (4-3) in the semi-finals.
Awaiting her would be Nutcharut in a repeat of the Belgian Open final just 12 days ago, which saw Ng surrender an early advantage as Mink ran out a 4-2 winner in Bruges.
It would once again prove to be 33-year-old Ng who would make the stronger start as she went 2-0 up with a top break of 52, before she edged a scrappy third frame to move one away from the title at 3-0.
A break of 47 in frame four would give Nutcharut hope and as she followed the run up with contributions of 33 and 35 on her way to levelling the match at 3-3, another comeback victory looked to be on the cards for the Thai star.
On this occasion, however, Ng was not to be denied as she controlled a tense final frame to seal a memorable victory on the colours and ensure that she will head to next month’s World Championship as one of the players to beat in China.
It should also be noted that On Yee beat three professional players, Reanne Evans, Rebecca Kenna and Mink Nutcharut, in the knockout stages of this event.
China’s Bai Yulu claimed a second Under-21 title to add to the British Open crown she won in 2023. The 20-year-old saw off India’s Natasha Chethan and Sophie Nix of Scotland without the loss of a frame to secure another trophy during the early stages of her Tour career.
In the Seniors category it was England’s Mary Talbot who bounced back from defeat in the recent Belgian Open seniors final to secure her fifth title at Over-40s level since 2021.
The current Seniors number two defeated Polish pair Ewelina Pislewska and Izabela Łącka to take the crown and in doing so narrow the gap to top placed Tessa Davidson who was not present in Albania.
Finally, the Challenge Cup tournament for players who did not reach the quarter-finals saw a maiden success for Bayarsaikhan Narantuya of Mongolia, who dramatically defeated world number nine Emma Parker 2-1 on the black to take the title.
The win is the first on Tour by a Mongolian player, who also scored a notable group stage victory against world champion Baipat Siripaporn during the event.
The next event on the World Women’s Snooker Tour will be the World Women’s Snooker Championship, which will be held in Chang Ping, Dongguan, China from 11-17 March 2024.
All the scores can be seen on the WPBSA snookerscores.net website at https://snookerscores.net/events/2024-albanian-womens-open