Michaela Tabb will become the first female ever to referee a snooker ranking tournament final when she takes charge at the Welsh Open.

The 39-year-old mother of two has previously officiated at all major events, including the World Championship and the Masters, but believes that to referee her first final will be the highlight of her career.

"I've worked for a long time towards this so it's fantastic to achieve one of my main ambitions," the former European ladies pool champion told World Snooker.

"The final will be nerve-racking as there will be a lot of interest in my performance, so I probably won't be able to enjoy it until afterwards.

"But I will just treat it as I do any other match."

The Welsh Open, at the Newport Centre, will be played between tomorrow and next Sunday.

Stephen Lee will be defending the title against the likes of Malta Cup winner Shaun Murphy, world champion Graeme Dott, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Ken Doherty, Steve Davis, Ding Junhui and home favourites Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens and Ryan Day.

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