Mark Allen beats Reanne Evans in ‘Battle of the Exes’ at snooker’s British Open after fist-bump snub

Reanne Evans declined a fist bump from Mark Allen as the former partners faced off for the first time on tour in a hugely intense clash at snooker’s British Open.

The so-called ‘Battle of the Exes’ took place at Leicester’s Morningside Arena on Monday night, with men’s world no10 Allen eventually booking his place in round two after triumphing in a tense late decider with a break of 68 to win the match by three frames to two.

Allen and 12-time women’s world champion Evans – who have a daughter together – split acrimoniously in 2008.

In April of this year, Allen requested that Evans – who was working as a pundit – leave a TV studio situated next to where he was practicing at the World Championship at The Crucible in Sheffield.

“It was horrible, it’s not something I want to really go through too often, but we had to try and remain as professional as possible and I think I did that very well,” Allen said after Monday’s match.

“I think I can hold my head very high with the way I handled it out there.”

On his pre-match fist bump not being reciprocated, he added: “I’d rather not answer that one.

“I didn’t play my best but I thought I treated it like any other match, I showed respect where respect was due.

“I thought Reanne played really, really well the first three-and-a-half frames and was just unfortunate with a cannon not to go on and win 3-1. But I just hung in there and then made a one-visit in the last.”

Evans downplayed the incident, saying: “I was told at the start there were no handshakes or anything, and just in my head I was visualising the start of the match so I just went straight to the table.

“I’m proud I’m competing, it’s just a little bit of experience and hopefully in a few more matches I might get that win.

“No one wanted that match did they? But you have to respect that top players do what they do and it’s sport, we’re in the same sport so it’s always going to happen.”