Snooker-British Open battle of the exes hailed as one of most intense ever

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LONDON (Reuters) - Northern Irishman Mark Allen hoped he would never have to play his former partner Reanne Evans again after winning a British Open 'battle of the exes' hailed as one of snooker's most intense matches ever.

The former couple, who have a 14-year-old daughter, met for the first time on Monday night as professionals in a ranking tournament after 12-times women's world champion Evans earned a two-year pro tour card.

Allen, ranked 12th in the world, won the match 3-2 at Leicester's Morningside Arena after coming back from 60-22 down in the fourth frame.

British media reported the pair had broken up acrimoniously in 2008, with a subsequent dispute over child maintenance payments further souring relations.

Evans declined a fist-bump with her opponent before the opening break, explaining later that she had been told at the start there were to be "no handshakes or anything".

"It's been the most intense match I have probably ever witnessed," seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry said in his role as television pundit for ITV.

"It was awful and I wouldn't want to do it again really," said Allen.

"She played much better than me but I made a good break to win it. She potted some unbelievable individual balls. She was very unfortunate not to go on and win 3-1."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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