Ken Doherty ended Reanne Evans' chance of becoming the first woman to compete in the World Championships.
The 29-year old from Dudley gave the 1997 world champion a real run for his money after he narrowly edged to a 10-8 win after twice going behind.
Evans was given the chance to compete on the men’s circuit after admitting the severe lack of money in the women’s game meant she would need to find another job along with snooker to pay the bills.
Doherty admitted to Andy Goldstein on talkSPORT's Sports Bar after the pulsating first qualifying round that Evans deserved to win the match.
He added: "If I wasn’t playing in the game I would have been routing for her to win."
Although the 10 time ladies champion failed at the first hurdle, she has raised the profile of the women’s game, something she was aiming to do before going into the game.
"If I don't get to play (in the main draw), I hope (my attempt to qualify will inspire) the young girls because they need to see a future in the game."
Evans has potentially opened the door for more women to compete with men and even has the backing of World Snookers chairman Barry Hearn.
"She is a fantastic player but it is an open game. The future of the sport is to open the game to everyone, irrespective of race, colour or sex. We need to say, 'There is a snooker table, go and play'."
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