Reanne Evans snubs former partner's fist bump ahead of grudge match at the British Open

Reanne Evans refused to fist bump her former partner ahead of their match at the British Open on Monday. Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Reanne Evans snubbed former partner Mark Allen's fist bump ahead of their British Open meeting at the Morningside Arena in Leicester, in what Allen called a "horrible" match.

The first round match was billed as a grudge match with the two acrimoniously splitting 13 years ago after three years and a child together.

Tensions had been building long before the match with Allen demanding in April at the World Championships in the Crucible in Sheffield that Evans -- who was working as a BBC pundit -- be removed from the room he was practising in as she was a distraction.

World Snooker Tour officials agreed with Allen and asked her to leave.

There are also ongoing legal proceedings between the two over financial support for their daughter.

Evans is the reigning and 12-times women's world champion while Allen won the Triple Crown title in 2018 and it was the former who came out as the winner on the night.

Before the match, Allen offered his fist to Evans to bump -- a common greeting during the COVID-19 pandemic -- but she ignored it and turned to the table.

"I was told at the start no handshakes or anything because of COVID, so I was visualising starting the match and just went straight to the table," she said.

"No one wanted that match but you have to accept it, it's sport and these things are going to happen.

"I am sick of losing these deciders. I couldn't feel my arms or my legs by the end, with all the nerves and tension. I did settle a bit after the first frame and fancied the job."

World No. 10 Allen took the match 3-2 and the pair didn't exchange any words after the competition had ended.

"It was horrible, and not something I really want to be doing again. I tried to stay professional and I think I did that and can hold my head up high," he said.

"Reanne played really well for two and a half frames. I'd rather not answer any questions about her refusing the fist bump.

"I just wanted to get through this match for obvious reasons, but overall my form is good and hopefully I can take that on now."