BARRY HAWKINS hopes that the debut appearance of Reanne Evans in the UK Championship will kickstart the women's game in snooker.

Evans, a 10-time women's world champion, played for the first time in a Triple Crown event in a 6-1 defeat to Hawkins at the York Barbican.

Having seen the likes of darts, cricket and rugby union see huge growth in its women's game, Hawkins hopes the same can soon be said of snooker.

"Reanne has done unbelievable things for women's game," said Hawkins.

"I think that the only thing that is lacking is a few wins under her belt.

"When she beats a few top players, that will create headlines and get more women interested and taking up the sport.

"If they see someone like Reanne beating the men on Tour, that will probably inspire them.

"It can only be good for her playing and hopefully she can start getting a few wins because she's a capable player, that's for sure."

Former world championship finalist Hawkins added: "If she gets a bit more confidence and a couple more wins behind her, who knows (what could happen). It can only be a good thing for the game."

Hawkins will be joined in the second round by fellow leading Championship contenders John Higgins, Stephen Maguire, Mark Williams, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui, who all recorded first round victories.