Dominic Dale says he is happy to have moved into the second round of World Championship qualifying after edging past 11-time women’s World champion Reanne Evans. Dale, who last appeared in the main draw of the season-ending event at the Crucible since 2014, was made to work extremely hard for the win at the English Institute of Sport, eventually coming out on top 10-7.
The Welshman, who has not made it past the third stage of any ranking tournament this season, made breaks of 130, 91, 73, 54 and 65 to book his place in R2 of qualifying. It was a valiant effort from Evans, who won her first ever World Championship match at last year’s qualifying against Robin Hull, but it was not to be for the English star. Dale, who is now two matches away from the Crucible, admits the nerves were jangling throughout the contest and he is just happy to have overcome a tricky opening game. “I’m so relieved. I didn’t settle for the whole match and I was a nervous wreck,” he was quoted as saying by worldsnooker.com. “Reanne’s performances here over the last couple of years have shown that she is a worthy competitor on the circuit. “It’s not like power sports like tennis or cricket, in snooker the power game doesn’t really come into it and men and women can be equal. I think Reanne is the best female player I have ever seen. Her safety game and knowledge of the sport really impressed me.”
Next up for Dale, who reached the quarter-finals at the 2014 World Championship, is a clash against England’s Mike Dunn after he managed to squeeze past Wales’ Duane Jones 10-8. Elsewhere, Jimmy White advanced into the second round after overcoming Sam Craigie 10-6 and the ‘Whirlwind’ will take on Joe Perry next after the latter thrashed Scotland’s Ross Muir 10-1.