Ladies' champion Reanne Evans keen to shine at Wuxi Classic

Women's snooker on the rise - Evans

Nine-time world ladies' champion Reanne Evans is aiming to make her mark on the men's game when she faces China's Zhu Zinghui in the Wuxi Classic on Monday.

Despite qualifying for the event in China, Evans, 27, still needs to win in the wildcard round for the right to face Neil Robertson in the first round.

"I've been told how big snooker is out there. There's a lot of women players and people know about me," said Evans.

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out because of "personal reasons".

It is the first time that players in the world's top 16 have been required to qualify for a major snooker event, with all 128 tour players starting in the same round as part of a new format.

And it produced some shock results, with Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy failing to progress.

Evans will be making her first visit to China and is hoping to transform her career as well as raise awareness of the women's game.

"I just hope we can get people noticing women in snooker and build up the profile," she said.

"I know it's not going to happen overnight but it needs to get moving.

"I won £1,500 for my first world title but only £400 this year. It's gradually got worse and worse.

"There is a lot of pressure. I do put pressure on myself but I've just got to try to relax and enjoy the moment, which is going to be really hard."

Evans is the first woman to make an impact in the professional game since Allison Fisher in the early 1990s.