Keep your fist to yourself. That was the best way to capture the scenerio as Mark Allen faced former partner Reanne Evvans in the Snooker British open first round clash.
Mark Allen narrowly avoided the nightmare of losing to his former girlfriend Reanne Evans after she snubbed his pre-match fist bump.
This was the first time the feuding exes, who have a 14-year-old daughter together from a three-year relationship which ended in 2008, have been drawn to face each other in a professional match.
And 12-time women’s world champion Evans lit the touch paper when she refused to touch hands with Allen as he approached her before breaking off in their British Open first-round clash.
Evans refused Allen’s attempted fist bump before she broke for the first frame of this best-of-five grudge match. The Battle of the Exes was on.
In the best-of-five game, Evans led 2-1 and was one red away from becoming the first woman to beat a man in a televised tournament.
But Allen was able to capitalise on the 35-year-old’s miss to take the fourth frame and then held his nerve to win the decider with a break of 68.
‘It was horrible,’ admitted Allen about the occasion at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
‘It was nothing I want to go through too often, but I had to remain as professional as possible.
‘I can hold my head high. I treated it like any other match and showed respect where respect was due. I thought Reanne played well. She was unlucky in frame four and at that point she would have deserved to win. She played much better than me.’
Allen refused to comment about his opponent’s refusal to touch hands at the start but Evans said: ‘I was told at the start no handshakes or anything.
‘In my head, I had visualised the match and just went straight to the table.
‘No one wanted that match but you have to respect the top players. I am absolutely gutted but I am really proud at the same time. Hopefully more girls and women start playing snooker and realise that they can do it as well.’
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