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Emma Parker aiming to seize massive opportunity on Snooker Shoot-Out debut

Jamie Shaw in Snooker Interviews

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Rising star Parker in action (credit:World Snooker)

Emerging women’s snooker star Emma Parker is aiming to make a name for herself after being handed a wildcard spot in the 2019 Snooker Shoot-Out.

Parker, the 2017 Women’s World Under-21 Champion, is one of two female players in the field alongside multiple World Champion Reanne Evans.

It will be the first time that women have competed in televised matches in the final stages of a world ranking event in the UK.

Parker is one of eight players to have been awarded wildcard places among the 128-strong field for the unique shot clock event, which runs from February 21-24 at the Watford Colosseum.

The 19-year-old is currently top of the World Women’s Snooker under-21 rankings and tenth in the overall rankings and faces India’s Laxman Rawat in the First Round on Friday evening.

“I will be nervous on Friday but hopefully I can put that to one side and play well,” said Parker, who has practised in the past with top players including Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump.

“It is a massive opportunity for myself and Reanne to play on television, hopefully we can win matches. I would love snooker to be my career, I just have to take it step by step.”

Parker won an amateur tournament in London last weekend, beating several male players along the way, and added: “That has given me confidence.

“I don’t know much about my first round opponent on Friday but I’ll just be focused on playing my game.

“I have been practising with a shot clock, my mum has been counting down the seconds for me! It’s not easy, you have to see the shot quickly and then play it.”

Evans, arguably snooker’s best ever female player having won the women’s World Championship 11 times, is up against legend Jimmy White on Thursday evening.

Other top stars in action include Shaun Murphy, Barry Hawkins, Kyren Wilson, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, Ken Doherty and defending champion Michael Georgiou.

Snooker Shoot-Out 2019 Wildcards:

Ryan Davies – English Junior Champion

Liam Graham – Scottish Under-16 champion

Liam Davies – Welsh Under-14s number one

Stephan Bateman – Irish Under-21 Champion

Ben Mertens – European Under-18 Championship quarter-finalist

Emma Parker – Top of women’s world under-21 rankings

Reanne Evans – Multiple Women’s World Champion

Brandon Sargeant – Top of the Challenge Tour rankings