The 2017 Eden World Women’s Championship gets under way on Monday at the Lagoon Billiard Room in Singapore.
A field of 32 has been separated into eight groups of four, with the top eight seeds and players of the same nationality kept apart in an initial round-robin phase.
Two players will progress from each of the groups before the tournament transforms to a knockout format until the champion is determined.
Eleven-time women’s world champion Reanne Evans has been drawn in Group C and will open her latest title defence against international opposition in the form of Indian Suniti Damani , Singapore’s Hoe Shu Wah and Nutcharut Wongharuthai from Thailand.
Asian number one and 2015 world champion Ng On Yee will face India’s Chitra Magimairaj, winner of the seniors competition at the 2016 World Women’s Championship, as well as Singaporean number one Charlene Chai and Ireland’s Ronda Sheldreck.
Sheldreck, who has been inspired to take up the game by her husband Keith, himself a recent winner on the RIBSA masters circuit in Carlow this season, heads to the first women’s World Championship to be staged outside the UK in more than two decades looking to cause some upsets.
“The draw is very tough as they are all really good players but it will be an experience for me and for them as I have never played them before,” Sheldreck told SnookerHQ before flying out for the competition.
“My preparations have been good. I have retained the RIBSA intermediate shield for the second season and I also had some coaching from the Irish ladies national coach Michelle Sherwin.
“Snooker is a sport that is loved around the world so it’s also a good opportunity to see a bit of the world.”
Fellow Irishwoman Paula Judge, sister of former professional Michael Judge, will be in action as well with recent Connie Gough Memorial Trophy winner Maria Catalano among the trio of competitors in her group.
In total, players from ten different countries will compete to claim the most prestigious prize in women’s snooker this year, with a total prize fund of £15,000.