COMEBACK queen Rebecca Kenna is praising her mental strength after coming through a marathon day on her way to a third straight semi-final appearance in the Women's World Championship.

The 29-year-old world No 3 was on the table for over eight hours in Malta last Friday, with only a five-minute break between matches, in defeating Hong Kong's Yee Ting Cheung 4-3, from 3-0 down, in the last 16 and Thailand's Waratthanon Sukritthanes 4-2, from 2-0 behind, in the quarter-finals.

"My first match didn't finish until five to ten in the evening, and the official asked me how long I wanted," said the Keighley woman.

"They said that I could have 15 minutes if I wanted something to eat, but I said 'I will have five minutes' and just went outside to get some air.

"My second match didn't finish until 1.30am and I was in bed for 2am as my semi-final was starting at 10am!"

Kenna, who was beaten in the last four by Ng On Yee two years ago at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds and last year by India's Vidya Pillai in Singapore, bowed out 4-0 to world No 1 and eventual winner On Yee at the Dolmen Hotel in St Paul's.

Again the Cross Hills & District League player had to do it the hard way in her group as she once more faced Thai prodigy Nutcharat Wongharuthai in what was a repeat of the previous ranking tournament – last month's British Open.

Kenna defeated Poland's Malgorzata Sikorska 3-0 (63-25, 62-22, 63-16) and 13-year-old Brazilian Nicolly Christo 3-0 (68-48, 69-31, 72-61) before facing 18-year-old British Open finalist Wongharuthai, who Kenna beat 2-1 in the group stages at Stourbridge Institute.

The Thai trailed 2-1 before coming through 3-2 this time (18-86, 59-58, 11-71, 50-35, 72-25) in Malta to top the group, with Kenna second in the first Women's World Championship played under the World Snooker Federation banner.

However, Kenna explained: "The match came in the right order as we had both won our previous two group games, and once each of us had won a frame against each other we had both qualified for the last 16 so it was pointless in a sense."

The former women's footballer then had to play in the initial knockout round to reach the quarter-finals, defeating Cheung 47-57, 34-55, 50-53, 68-21, 53-12, 58-9 in four-and-a-half hours and then Sukritthanes 15-66, 13-61, 64-26, 58-9, 66-52, 56-45 in over three and a half hours

Kenna said: "I deliberately play longer matches in practice to work on my mental strength.

"I don't want to show any weakness, such as appearing tired, not feeling well or dropping my head as opponents pick up on that, and at 3-0 down to Cheung I said 'It is only once a year and I know that I can play better'.

"Having such a short break between my last 16 and quarter-final meant that my cueing arm was still warm, and I knew that by reaching the last eight I had already qualified for this week's World Snooker Federation mixed singles event (of the 90 entries, only five were women), but my feet were still throbbing the following morning before I played On Yee because they were still tired.

"On Yee played so well against me and to win 22 frames without dropping any is some achievement."

Kenna was beaten 54-3, 76-34, 60-26, 69-52, but she was in good company as the Hong Kong woman was imperious against all, including defeating Maria Catalano 5-0 in the final.

On Yee, now a three-time world champion, has also been awarded a wild card into next month's World Snooker Championship qualifiers for the Crucible.

She nervously lost to Leeds' Peter Lines and Nigel Bond respectively in the qualifiers in 2016 and 2017, but Kenna said: "I think she will do better this time."

The next women's ranking tournament is the Festival of World Women’s Snooker at the Northern Snooker Centre on April 13-16, and Kenna will partner Shannon Metcalfe in the women's pairs.

Kenna added: "It is like a home venue for me as I don't have to stay in a hotel and it is only a half-hour's drive from where I live."