World Series of Darts Finals: Preview

World Series of Darts Finals

The inaugural staging of the World Series of Darts finals begins in Glasgow tomorrow afternoon, with Michael van Gerwen aiming to continue his phenomenal form.

The tournament consists of 24 players. The eight seeded players, who participated in the World Series events in Dubai, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have all received byes to the last 16.

The PDC have invited a further 12 players who they view as international prospects, whilst a further four sealed their spot in this tournament via a qualifying event. These 16 stars will battle for the right to take on the eight seeds on Saturday evening.

Phil Taylor is the number one seed for this event, after he enjoyed a tremendous World Series campaign. He reached the final in Dubai, before winning three successive events, in Japan, Perth and Sydney.

Taylor could potentially face Dave Chisnall in the last 16, which would be a pulsating battle. However, Chisnall must overcome the dangerous Australian Kyle Anderson in the first round.

Taylor’s fellow Stokie Adrian Lewis is the second seed in Glasgow, after his consistent World Series showings. He reached the final in Sydney, losing out to Taylor, but he gained revenge in Auckland.

Lewis edged past ‘The Power’ 10-9 in the semi-finals, before beating Raymond van Barneveld 11-10 in an epic final. Lewis also has a tough last 16 tie in prospect. Jackpot will face either Keegan Brown, who beat him in the 2014 Grand Slam, or World Number 9 Ian White, on Saturday evening.

Michael van Gerwen is seeded third for this event, after enduring an underwhelming World Series campaign by his extraordinary high-standards. van Gerwen won the Dubai Darts Masters for the third year in succession, but struggled down-under.

MvG was beaten 10-9 by James Wade in the semi-finals of the Perth Darts Masters, before losing in the quarter-finals in both Sydney and Auckland to his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld.

van Gerwen could face home-favourite Robert Thornton in the second-round in Glasgow, in a repeat of this year’s World Grand-Prix final.

Thornton must firstly overcome the enigmatic Devon Petersen in the afternoon session, but van Gerwen will surely be keen to face the Thorn and exact revenge on the Scot.

Peter Wright has been handed a relatively kind draw in Glasgow, as he aims to win his first ever PDC TV title. Wright has been playing tremendously over recent months and he could be spurred on by the partisan Scottish crowd.

Wright, who reached the final of the Japan Darts Masters, where he was beaten by Phil Taylor in a nail-biting deciding leg, will face either Max Hopp or Dimitri van den Bergh for a quarter-final berth.

Wright could potentially face James Wade in the last eight, if the Machine can win his second-round match. Wade will face the winner of the young-guns clash, between Benito van de Pas and Jamie Lewis.

Wade was consistent as ever throughout the World Series. He reached the semi-finals in Dubai, the final in Perth, and the semi-final in Auckland, but he was unable to claim his elusive maiden World Series crown. Could he win the big one in Glasgow?

5-Time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld is seeded sixth for this event and could meet World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen in the quarter-finals. Raymond’s performances in Australia and New Zealand were the catalyst for his return to form.

He beat van Gerwen in the last eight in both Sydney and Auckland. He was beaten 10-9 by Lewis in the semi-finals in Sydney, before again losing a last-leg decider to Jackpot, in the Auckland final. He has been handed a difficult route, but MvG will hold no fear for van Barneveld.

Nevertheless, the legendary Dutchman has also been handed a challenging last 16 clash. van Barneveld will either face Mark Webster, who he beat in last week’s Grand-Slam quarter-final, or World Number 8 Michael Smith, his fellow semi-finalist in Wolverhampton.

World-Champion Gary Anderson will be hoping for a memorable return to home soil this weekend, but he will have to significantly improve upon his previous World Series performances.

Anderson is the seventh seed for the event, having reached 3 semi-finals, in Dubai, Japan, and Perth respectively. The Flying Scotsman will face either Terry Jenkins, or his protege Chris Dobey for a quarter-final spot.

Interestingly, Anderson is one of just two players who failed to reach the final of a World Series event in 2015. The other, is St Helen’s star Stephen Bunting, who is the eighth seed in Glasgow.

The Bullet did not fire throughout the World Series, failing to reach the semi-finals in any of the 5 global tournaments. In Perth and Sydney, Bunting was a first-round casualty, losing to Kyle Anderson and Simon Whitlock respectively.

If Bunting wins his last 16 clash, he will in all likelihood face Phil Taylor in the quarter-finals. Despite this, Bunting must initially overcome either Whitlock or Rowby-John Rodriguez, who will do battle on Saturday afternoon.

Below is the tournament bracket and the order of play for Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the Braehead Arena.

Unibet World Series of Darts Finals
Second Round Draw & Tournament Bracket
(1) Phil Taylor v Kyle Anderson/Dave Chisnall
(8) Stephen Bunting v Simon Whitlock/Rowby-John Rodriguez
(5) James Wade v Benito van de Pas/Jamie Lewis
(4) Peter Wright v Max Hopp/Dimitri Van den Bergh
(2) Adrian Lewis v Keegan Brown/Ian White
(7) Gary Anderson v Terry Jenkins/Chris Dobey
(6) Raymond van Barneveld v Michael Smith/Mark Webster
(3) Michael van Gerwen v Devon Petersen/Robert Thornton

Unibet World Series of Darts Finals

Schedule of Play
Saturday November 21
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
First Round

Simon Whitlock v Rowby-John Rodriguez
Benito van de Pas v Jamie Lewis
Max Hopp v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael Smith v Mark Webster
Keegan Brown v Ian White
Kyle Anderson v Dave Chisnall
Devon Petersen v Robert Thornton
Terry Jenkins v Chris Dobey
Best of 11 legs

Evening Session (7pm)
Second Round

Stephen Bunting v Whitlock/Rodriguez
James Wade v van de Pas/J Lewis
Peter Wright v Hopp/Van den Bergh
Raymond van Barneveld v Smith/Webster
Adrian Lewis v Brown/White
Phil Taylor v K Anderson/Chisnall
Michael van Gerwen v Petersen/Thornton
Gary Anderson v Jenkins/Dobey
Best of 11 legs

Sunday November 22
Afternoon Session (12.45pm)
Quarter-Finals

Wade/van de Pas/J Lewis v Wright/Hopp/Van den Bergh
Taylor/K Anderson/Chisnall v Bunting/Whitlock/Rodriguez
A Lewis/Brown/White v G Anderson/Jenkins/Dobey
van Barneveld/Smith/Webster v van Gerwen/Petersen/Thornton
Best of 19 legs

Evening Session (7pm)
Semi-Finals

Best of 21 legs

Final
Best of 21 legs

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