Wonderful Wright backs up bullish Matchplay prediction

Peter Wright was under scrutiny coming into this year’s World Matchplay, after proclaiming pre-tournament that he would complete a World Championship and Matchplay double. The doubters were poised to assemble, but Snakebite let his darts do the talking at the Winter Gardens.

Continue reading “Wonderful Wright backs up bullish Matchplay prediction”

EXCLUSIVE: Nicholson tips Price for Matchplay glory!

The 2019 World Matchplay gets underway at the iconic Winter Gardens on Saturday evening, with defending champion Gary Anderson headlining the opening night in Blackpool.

Ahead of one of the biggest events on the darting calendar, I caught up with PDC major winner and pundit Paul Nicholson to preview the action from the Winter Gardens and ‘The Asset’ believes this year’s event could be the most captivating in recent memory.

Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: Nicholson tips Price for Matchplay glory!”

World Matchplay 2019: Five ties to watch!

The Betfred World Matchplay gets underway at the Winter Gardens on July 20th, as Gary Anderson bids to retain the crown he memorably claimed twelve months ago. Michael van Gerwen is aiming to win his third title in Blackpool, with former champion James Wade also among the favourites.

The Matchplay always proves to be one of the highlights of the darting calendar and ahead of the tournament, we’ve picked out five stand-out ties.

Adrian Lewis vs Glen Durrant

Two former world champions will collide in the opening round at the Winter Gardens, as Adrian Lewis takes on three-time Lakeside champion Glen Durrant. The pair have already met three times on the Pro Tour circuit in 2019, with ‘Jackpot’ winning two of those contests.

However, this could be a decisive tournament in the context of Lewis’ season. The Stoke-on-Trent star reached the semi-finals here two years ago and as a consequence he’s defending £30,000 in prize money, therefore an early exit could see him relinquish his top 16 status.

Durrant is appearing in just his second televised major as a PDC Tour Card holder and with two Players Championship titles under his belt already this season, he’ll be confident of claiming another major scalp. For the winner it won’t get any easier however, as Michael van Gerwen could await in the second round.

Michael Smith vs Jamie Hughes

Jamie Hughes secured his World Matchplay debut in last-gasp fashion, after winning the Czech Darts Open crown in the final event before the cut-off. His reward is a tie against World Championship finalist Michael Smith, which will take place on Sunday afternoon.

Since earning his PDC Tour Card in January, Hughes has posted a multitude of stunning averages with little reward. His yearly average is an impressive 96.79, with only Van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Gerwyn Price, Durrant, Ian White and Peter Wright boasting a higher average across the entire circuit.

Smith endured a disappointing Premier League campaign following on from a superb World Championship, but he’s still reached a UK Open semi-final and enjoyed a run to the final of last week’s US Masters. Missed doubles have cost ‘Bully Boy’ in 2019 but we can expect fireworks in a match containing two of the biggest scorers in the game.

James Wade vs Jeffrey de Zwaan

Jeffrey de Zwaan rose to prominence courtesy of his run to the Matchplay semi-finals 12 months ago, where he defeated Van Gerwen, Lewis and Dave Chisnall before succumbing to eventual champion Gary Anderson. However, the Dutchman will be forced to do it the hard way again in 2019.

Wade’s solitary Matchplay triumph came back in 2007 but he’s also reached the final on five separate occasions, losing four times to Phil Taylor and once to Van Gerwen in 2015. He’s only won a single game at the Winter Gardens over the last three years, but he’s arguably in the form of his career.

Since winning back-to-back PDC majors last Autumn, Wade has already scooped four ranking titles in 2019 and won of those triumphs saw him beat De Zwaan in a Pro Tour final. ‘The Machine’ has won all four of his previous meetings against the young Dutchman, but De Zwaan has already proven that he’s not fazed by reputations.

Gerwyn Price vs Stephen Bunting

Gerwyn Price has gone from strength-to-strength since sealing Grand Slam glory last November and ‘The Iceman’ is now universally regarded as one of the world’s best. He’s never gone beyond the quarter-finals in Blackpool but this may be his best opportunity yet.

Peter Wright is the only player in the bottom half of the draw to have reached a World Matchplay final and Price’s 2019 average of 98.46 is only bettered by the world’s top two. The Welshman could face Cross in the last eight and the winner of that potential clash would be highly fancied to reach the final.

However, Price faces a tough opener against a rejuvenated Stephen Bunting. The former Lakeside champion has reached two ranking finals over the last two months – just falling short of a third PDC title at the Czech Darts Open less than a fortnight ago. Both men are in form and proven winners; this has all the ingredients of being a belter.

Daryl Gurney vs Ricky Evans

The penultimate game of the opening round should be an entertaining affair and that’s just the walk-ons. Daryl Gurney’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ is one of the most popular amongst the fans and Ricky Evans has revealed via social media that he’ll be walking on to YMCA. That will be a sight to behold!

In terms of the contest itself, that also promises to be intriguing. The pair have met seven times and perhaps surprisingly, Evans edges the head-to-head record 4-3. However, Gurney did win their most recent showdown; prevailing 8-6 in the final of March’s German Darts Championship.

The Northern Irishman is one of the most consistent performers on the PDC Tour – evidenced by his World No 3 ranking. Nevertheless, Evans was the second highest qualifier via the Pro Tour Order of Merit which underlines his vast improvement. He’s got big match pedigree and he certainly possesses the scoring power to trouble ‘Super Chin’.

2019 Betfred World Matchplay
Draw Bracket

(1) Michael van Gerwen v Steve Beaton
(16) Adrian Lewis v Glen Durrant
(8) James Wade v Jeffrey de Zwaan
(9) Mensur Suljovic v Jermaine Wattimena
(5) Michael Smith v Jamie Hughes
(12) Dave Chisnall v Max Hopp
(4) Gary Anderson v Danny Noppert
(13) Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
(2) Rob Cross v Chris Dobey
(15) Darren Webster v Krzysztof Ratajski
(7) Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting
(10) Ian White v Joe Cullen
(6) Peter Wright v Vincent van der Voort
(11) Simon Whitlock v John Henderson
(3) Daryl Gurney v Ricky Evans
(14) Jonny Clayton v Keegan Brown

2019 Betfred World Matchplay
Schedule of Play
Saturday July 20 (1900 BST)
First Round

Nathan Aspinall v Mervyn King
Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting
Gary Anderson v Danny Noppert
Rob Cross v Chris Dobey

Sunday July 21 (1300 BST)
First Round

Darren Webster v Krzysztof Ratajski
Dave Chisnall v Max Hopp
Ian White v Joe Cullen
Michael Smith v Jamie Hughes

Evening Session (1930 BST)
First Round

James Wade v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Mensur Suljovic v Jermaine Wattimena
Michael van Gerwen v Steve Beaton
Adrian Lewis v Glen Durrant

Monday July 22 (1900 BST)
First Round

Jonny Clayton v Keegan Brown
Simon Whitlock v John Henderson
Daryl Gurney v Ricky Evans
Peter Wright v Vincent van der Voort

Tuesday July 23 (1900 BST)
Second Round

Smith/Hughes v Chisnall/Hopp
Wade/De Zwaan v Suljovic/Wattimena
Anderson/Noppert v Aspinall/King
Van Gerwen/Beaton v Lewis/Durrant

Wednesday July 24 (1900 BST)
Second Round

Gurney/Evans v Clayton/Brown
Price/Bunting v White/Cullen
Cross/Dobey v Webster/Ratajski
Wright/Van der Voort v Whitlock/Henderson

Thursday July 25 (1900 BST)
Quarter-Finals x2

Friday July 26 (1900 BST)
Quarter-Finals x2

Saturday July 27 (1900 BST)

Sunday July 28 (1900 BST)

OPINION: Taylor’s antics were a sign of desperation!

Taylor Matchplay.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen retained his World Matchplay crown with an emphatic 18-10 win over Phil Taylor in Sunday night’s final at the Winter Gardens. ‘The Green Machine’ produced a brilliant display to inflict Taylor’s first ever defeat in a Blackpool final, although ‘The Power’ still stole the headlines, albeit for the wrong reasons.

There was no shame in Taylor’s performance. In his post-match interview, he said he felt ‘gutted’ to have let the crowd down, although in truth he performed well; averaging in excess of 101. However, his conduct on-stage, particularly in the latter half of the contest, was frankly embarrassing.

At various stages of the contest, Taylor gave his Dutch opponent a fierce stare, insinuating he had done something to antagonise ‘The Power’, which wasn’t the case. He also urged the crowd to perform the ‘Icelandic clap’on numerous occasions, including when Van Gerwen was throwing, which was most unsportsmanlike.

Additionally, Taylor persisted to mock and replicate MvG’s celebrations, and even appeared to be captured calling the world number one an expletive, after Van Gerwen extended his lead to 14-8. If Taylor had been winning, Michael’s exuberant celebrations wouldn’t have left a mark on ‘The Power’. He simply couldn’t handle the fact he was being outplayed.

Continue reading “OPINION: Taylor’s antics were a sign of desperation!”

Van Gerwen topples Taylor to retain Matchplay crown!

MvG Matchplay.png
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen retained his BetVictor World Matchplay crown with a thumping 18-10 victory over 15-time champion Phil Taylor at the Winter Gardens on Sunday evening. Taylor had an unblemished record in finals at the Matchplay, but he was unable to maintain this feat against an impressive ‘Green Machine’.

Van Gerwen averaged 103.93, hit twelve maximums and boasted an excellent checkout conversion rate of 61%, to cap off a quality all-round display. He now joins Taylor and Rod Harrington as the only players to have retained the World Matchplay title, as he avenged his painful 2014 defeat to ‘The Power’.

Taylor kicked off proceedings with a maximum and converted D10 to hold throw, but Van Gerwen responded with a 70 finish on D9. Taylor then spurned three clear darts to hold in the third leg, and MvG followed up a maximum with a clinical 77 checkout, to secure the first break of throw in the contest.

The world number one threatened a 9-darter in the following leg after registering back-to-back maximums, but he had to settle for an 11-darter, as he won his third straight leg. Taylor stopped the rot with a brilliant 177, followed by a 70 outshot culminating on the bull, but MvG regained his two-leg cushion by pinning D12.

Continue reading “Van Gerwen topples Taylor to retain Matchplay crown!”

Taylor: “Van Gerwen’s got a problem with me tomorrow!”

Taylor MvG.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Defending champion Michael van Gerwen will meet 15-time Winter Gardens champion Phil Taylor in the final of the BetVictor World Matchplay on Sunday evening, after they comprehensively defeated Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson on Saturday night in Blackpool.

Van Gerwen remains on course to retain his title after easing past 2013 finalist Adrian Lewis 17-9. Jackpot defeated MvG at this stage three years ago, but he was unable to replicate this feat against ‘The Green Machine’, who averaged 101.20 and hit an impressive 49% of his attempts at double.

The Dutchman made an electric start by racing into a 3-0 advantage, but Lewis restored parity with three straight legs of his own. Nevertheless, the world number one then enjoyed a mini-surge, firing in three maximums en route to winning five consecutive legs, to establish a commanding 8-3 cushion.

Lewis hit D8 and tops to reduce the deficit to 8-5, but Van Gerwen converted D9 and D16 to regain his five-leg advantage. The Stoke star remained in contention with a fabulous 130 finish, but the Dutchman restored his cushion by following up his fourth maximum with D10.

Lewis responded by pinning tops, but Van Gerwen clinically converted a 72 finish in two darts to move 12-7 ahead. The two-time world champion continued to battle however. He took out 84 in two darts to hold, before posting D10 to reduce the arrears to 12-9, after the pair had traded 180’s.

Continue reading “Taylor: “Van Gerwen’s got a problem with me tomorrow!””

Taylor & Anderson survive major scares in Blackpool!

Taylor Blackpool.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor will lock horns with world champion Gary Anderson in the BetVictor World Matchplay semi-finals, after both players overcame major scares in the last eight at the Winter Gardens on Friday evening.

Taylor remains on course for a record 16th Matchplay crown, after edging out a tenacious Mervyn King 16-14 in a pulsating affair. ‘The Power’ began strongly, firing in a 10-darter en route to a 5-2 lead. However, King responded superbly, reeling off three successive legs to restore parity.

Taylor was scoring well, but missed doubles were proving expensive for the Stoke-on-Trent star. King posted his third maximum and hit tops for an 8-7 lead, before breaking Taylor’s throw with a fine 13-darter; hitting D16 having hit a majestic 174 in the preceding visit.

Despite this, the 55-year-old broke back instantly and levelled up the contest at 9-9. The next seven legs went with throw as King forged a narrow 13-12 advantage, but Taylor enjoyed a trademark ‘Power’ surge to seize the initiative.

Taylor hit back-to-back maximums at the start of the 26th leg, to set up a nine-dart possibility. He added a seventh T20, but the T19 proved elusive, and he converted D16 for a 10-darter to draw level once more.

Continue reading “Taylor & Anderson survive major scares in Blackpool!”

Van Gerwen: Lewis can’t reach my level!

Van Gerwen.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen has stoked the tension ahead of his World Matchplay semi-final against Adrian Lewis, by claiming that the two-time world champion ‘cannot reach his level’.

Van Gerwen eased past an under-par Dave Chisnall 16-9 in Thursday’s quarter-final, to remain on course to defend his Matchplay crown. It wasn’t a vintage performance from the Dutchman, but he still averaged 98.72 and registered nine maximums, to inflict a fourth consecutive quarter-final defeat on Chizzy at the Winter Gardens.

Elsewhere, Adrian Lewis came through a nail-biting affair against fifth seed Peter Wright to secure his spot in the last four. Lewis prevailed 16-14, averaging 97.33 and hitting nine maximums. Wright posted an incredible 12 maximums, but his checkout conversion rate of 32% proved costly.

In MvG’s post-match interview, when asked whether he wants to be tested, ‘The Green Machine’ replied: “It doesn’t really matter. I just need to turn up for my next game. If anyone will test me there, they will probably get a response from me. I don’t normally make many mistakes, and I hope I don’t in the next game. If I hit my level, Adrian can’t hit my level.”

Continue reading “Van Gerwen: Lewis can’t reach my level!”

World Matchplay- Day Five Report!

Steve Beaton.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor and Gary Anderson produced impressive performances to ease through to the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay, whilst Steve Beaton and Mervyn King rolled back the years at the Winter Gardens on Wednesday evening.

Taylor’s quest for an unprecedented 16th Matchplay crown continued with a comprehensive 11-5 victory over Mensur Suljovic. After a shaky opening-round win against Robbie Green, ‘The Power’ was much improved against the Austrian, averaging 101 and converting 48% of his attempts at double.

Taylor raced into a 3-0 advantage, but Suljovic responded impressively and cut the deficit to 3-2 at the next interval. ‘The Power’ then won four of the next five legs, to establish a commanding 7-3 cushion.

Suljovic continued to display great tenacity, converting finishes of 103 and 104 to remain in contention, but the 55-year-old Stoke star was unperturbed, firing in his fourth maximum and taking out 68 to seal victory, and book a place in the last eight on Friday.

Continue reading “World Matchplay- Day Five Report!”

Lewis: Price is a nobody who bottled it!

Adrian Lewis
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Adrian Lewis launched a stinging attack on Gerwyn Price, after defeating the Welshman 11-5 to book his place in the quarter-finals of the World Matchplay on Tuesday evening.

The pair were embroiled in a war of words of social media prior to Tuesday’s showdown, after Price memorably defeated Jackpot at the same stage twelve months ago. However, in his post-match interview, the two-time world champion was unable to hide his disdain towards ‘The Iceman’.

Lewis stated: “I was rubbish and that just shows why he’s a nobody. He turned up there and bottled it, simple as that. Between greatness and not so great, that just showed tonight. All I’m going to say, is that you can practice all you want, but you can’t practice crapping yourself.”

Price has claimed two Pro Tour victories in 2016, incidentally more than Lewis, although in the build up to Tuesday’s clash, Jackpot retorted: “He’s won a couple of tournaments, but that’s because all the top boys aren’t there. He’s gone up there and sneaked a couple.”

It was an extremely scrappy affair, with Lewis averaging 84, to Price’s 82. Yet Jackpot remained in bullish mood, insisting that he has plenty more gears to go through. “That was nothing today. I won there in neutral. I’m quite happy with that really; to get a bit of revenge after all of his mouthing off,” he added.

The 2013 Matchplay finalist will take on fifth seed Peter Wright in the last eight, after Snakebite prevailed 11-6 against Lewis’ Stoke counterpart, Ian White. Wright averaged 98.87 and hit three maximums, but White’s poor 26% conversion rate on the doubles was the decisive factor.

Elsewhere, world number one Michael van Gerwen remained on course to defend his World Matchplay crown with a comprehensive 11-3 victory over Kyle Anderson. ‘The Green Machine’ averaged 102.97, hit four maximums and boasted an impressive 52% on the doubles, to ease past ‘The Original’.

Van Gerwen will face Dave Chisnall in the quarter-finals on Thursday, after the St Helen’s star dismantled World Grand-Prix champion Robert Thornton 11-2 in the opening match of the night.

Chisnall was impressive throughout, averaging 99.67 and posting four maximums. However, Thornton’s Winter Gardens misery continues, as he averaged just 88 and hit 13% of his attempts at double.

Nevertheless, the animosity between Lewis and Price unsurprisingly stole the headlines. Price is certainly a charismatic character who isn’t afraid to ruffle the feathers of the top professionals, and that was evidenced at the start of the game, when Price offered a rather limp handshake to Lewis. This promises to be a feud which continues to rumble on.

BetVictor World Matchplay
Tuesday July 19
Second Round

Robert Thornton 2-11 Dave Chisnall
Peter Wright 11-6 Ian White
Michael van Gerwen 11-3 Kyle Anderson
Adrian Lewis 11-5 Gerwyn Price

Dutch duo dumped out in Blackpool!

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The Dutch duo of Raymond van Barneveld and Jelle Klaasen were dumped out in round-one of the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens on Monday evening. However elsewhere, Phil Taylor began his quest for a 16th Matchplay title with a hard-fought win over Robbie Green, whilst Michael Smith saw off Simon Whitlock.

On a night of upsets, Phil Taylor survived a scare against Robbie Green, who was making his first Matchplay appearance since 2004. ‘The Power’ averaged 98.72 and fired in six maximums, to set up a last 16 clash against Mensur Suljovic.

Green made an electric start, winning the opening two legs and missing D10 for a 128 checkout in the third. However Taylor rallied, winning five of the next six legs to establish a 5-3 advantage. Yet surprisingly, the 55-year-old endured double-trouble in the following legs, enabling ‘Kong’ to restore parity at 5-5.

Taylor was seething over his misses, but he responded impressively after the break. He broke throw instantly with an excellent 118 checkout, before regaining his two-leg cushion with a clinical 70 finish. Green continued to battle valiantly, recording seven maximums in total, but Taylor sealed a narrow victory with a 65 finish on tops.

Continue reading “Dutch duo dumped out in Blackpool!”

2016 World Matchplay- Day Two Report!

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

World champion Gary Anderson began his bid for a maiden World Matchplay crown with a comprehensive win over Alan Norris, whilst Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright also eased through to round-two. However, former winner James Wade suffered a surprise first-round exit at the Winter Gardens on Sunday.

Wade was beaten by an inspired Mervyn King in the opening match of Sunday’s evening session. ‘The King’ averaged 99.45, hit three maximums and converted an impressive 67% of his attempts at double, to dethrone ‘The Machine’ by a 10-5 scoreline.

Wade was uncharacteristically profligate on the doubles, as King stormed into a commanding 6-1 advantage. The left-hander missed three darts at double in the opening leg, and King capitalised on his opponent’s wastefulness, taking out finishes of 82, 100 and 120 to put one foot into the last 16.

Wade scored strongly in the latter stages of the contest, but it was to no avail. King missed D8 for a match-winning 136 outshot, and he was almost punished as Wade wired the bullseye for a 161 finish. However, King, a semi-finalist at the Winter Gardens in 2009, returned to post D4 and seal his second-round spot.

Continue reading “2016 World Matchplay- Day Two Report!”

World Matchplay 2016- Day One Report!

Van Gerwen WMP.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen began the defence of his World Matchplay title with a thumping whitewash victory over Jamie Caven, whilst Dave Chisnall, Robert Thornton and Kyle Anderson all won through on the opening night at the Winter Gardens.

Van Gerwen was in magnificent form as he despatched Jamie Caven 10-0. Jabba didn’t perform anywhere near to his potential, averaging a miserly 79. He only had four attempts at double in the entire contest; all of which came in the second leg.

However, ‘The Green Machine’ was in merciless form. He averaged 105.85, hitting four maximums and converting 50% of his attempts at double. The world number one will face Kyle Anderson in the last 16, after ‘The Original’ eased past 16th seed Vincent van der Voort 10-4.

It was a relatively scrappy affair, with van der Voort averaging 89.99 compared to Anderson’s 92.34. The encounter was evenly poised at 5-4, as Van der Voort reeled off successive legs to close in on the Australian. However, Anderson won five straight legs to secure his first ever victory at the World Matchplay.

Continue reading “World Matchplay 2016- Day One Report!”

2016 World Matchplay Preview!

The 2016 World Matchplay kicks off on Saturday evening, and Josh’s Dartistry casts his eye over the favourites, the contenders, the dark-horses, as well as the seeds under pressure. It promises to be a fantastic tournament at the Winter Gardens!

The Favourites:

Michael van Gerwen

Van Gerwen Shanghai

Michael van Gerwen is the favourite to retain his BetVictor World Matchplay title. He faces seven-time Pro Tour winner Jamie Caven in round-one, but ‘The Green Machine’ will be confident of progressing.

‘Jabba’ has only once gone beyond round-one at the Winter Gardens, and if MvG progresses, he will face either his good friend Vincent van der Voort, or Kyle Anderson in the last 16. Van Gerwen claimed victory in the recent Shanghai Darts Masters, but the world number one wasn’t in vintage form throughout the World Series.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson

World champion Gary Anderson will enter this tournament with real self-belief. ‘The Flying Scotsman’ has won three of the four World Series titles in 2016, beating Van Gerwen in two of those finals. The Scot is one of the select few who relishes the challenge of facing MvG, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these two face off in the final.

However, Anderson has been handed a difficult first-round assignment, against former Lakeside world finalist Alan Norris. Norris has been in fine form in the last 6 months and this promises to be a quick-fire contest. Anderson suffered a shock second-round defeat to Mensur Suljovic last year, so he’ll be determined to make amends this time around.

Continue reading “2016 World Matchplay Preview!”

World Matchplay Schedule & Format!

Matchplay Draw
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his World Matchplay title on the opening night of action at the Winter Gardens, on Saturday July 16th. The prestigious £450,000 tournament, televised live on Sky Sports, sees 32 players competing from July 16-24 at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Van Gerwen headlines the opening night, as he faces a tricky opening tie against seven-time PDC Pro Tour winner Jamie Caven. World Grand-Prix Robert Thornton will also begin his bid for a first ever win in Blackpool, with a tie against 22-year-old debutant Josh Payne on Saturday.

Dave Chisnall, a three-time major finalist, will clash against emerging Dutchman Benito van de Pas, who has tasted victory twice on the Pro Tour in 2016. However, the tournament’s opening match will be contested between the quick-fire Vincent van der Voort and Australia’s Kyle Anderson.

Sunday will see a marathon double-session take place, as former Premier League stars Stephen Bunting and Kim Huybrechts take on 2015 quarter-finalists Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price in the afternoon session. Continue reading “World Matchplay Schedule & Format!”

World Matchplay Draw!

Matchplay Draw.jpg
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen will begin the defence of his World Matchplay title against Jamie Caven, whilst world champion Gary Anderson takes on former Lakeside world finalist Alan Norris, after the draw was made live on Sky Sports News on Thursday morning.

The prestigious 32-player event, televised by Sky Sports, will be held at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens from July 16-24. Van Gerwen, who defeated James Wade in last year’s final, is faced with a tough assignment against Caven, a winner of seven Pro Tour titles.

Arguably the tie of the round sees world champion Gary Anderson take on Alan Norris. Norris has been in tremendous form over the last twelve months, which saw him reach the quarter-finals of the PDC World Championship on debut. Anderson has never gone beyond the last four in Blackpool, and this promises to be a quick-fire contest.

Phil Taylor will begin his bid for an unprecedented 16th World Matchplay title against Robbie Green, who just managed to secure his spot on the final day of qualifying.’Kong’ is making his first Matchplay appearance since 2004, but Taylor will be hoping to win his eighth Blackpool title in just nine years.

Continue reading “World Matchplay Draw!”

Masterful Taylor leaves Chizzy feeling Dizzy!

Phil Taylor Matchplay
Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Phil Taylor dispelled any concerns about his supposed ‘lack of form’ as he eased past Dave Chisnall to reach the World Matchplay semi-finals at the Winter Gardens.

Taylor averaged 102.71, defying an impressive 102.94 from Chisnall to record an emphatic 16-8 victory and set up another Winter Gardens meeting against James Wade on Saturday night.

Continue reading “Masterful Taylor leaves Chizzy feeling Dizzy!”

van Gerwen Prevails In Winter Gardens Classic to set up Semi with Snakebite!

MvG Matchplay
Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Michael van Gerwen kept his hopes of winning his maiden World Matchplay alive, as he came back from 6-1 down to edge out Ian White in a thrilling quarter-final at the Winter Gardens.

Van Gerwen did not lead until the 21st leg of the match, but he demonstrated why he is the World Number 1; producing the goods in the decisive moments, to secure a 16-13 victory against a valiant White.

Van Gerwen will meet old adversary Peter Wright in Saturday’s semi-final, after Snakebite produced a fine performance to secure a comprehensive 16-7 victory over Gerwyn Price.

Continue reading “van Gerwen Prevails In Winter Gardens Classic to set up Semi with Snakebite!”

Taylor and Barney set for World Matchplay Showdown!

Photo: Ben Hoskins (Getty Images)
Photo: Ben Hoskins (Getty Images)

Jelle Klaasen defeated Ian White 6-2 in Sunday’s Players Championship event in Wigan, to claim his first Pro Tour victory for 8 years! In addition, the participants for the World Matchplay, which commences on July 18th, have now been officially confirmed, ahead of tomorrow’s eagerly awaited draw.

Klaasen defeated Mark Dudbridge and Gerwyn Price in the earlier rounds to set up an enthralling last 16 clash with Adrian Lewis. The Dutchman narrowly edged out Jackpot 6-4, before comfortably progressing to the final following comprehensive 6-2 victories over Daryl Gurney and Rowby John Rodriguez respectively. Klaasen then defeated White by the same scoreline to claim only his 2nd ever PDC title.

Whilst White will be disappointed to miss out on victory, this represents a fine weekend’s work for the Diamond, after he reached the quarter-finals of Saturday’s event. This elevates White up to 9th in the World; his highest ranking since joining the PDC ranks.

Raymond van Barneveld’s qualification was confirmed earlier today, despite Kim Huybrechts providing the Five-Time World Champion with a real scare after reaching yesterday’s final. Huybrechts trailed van Barneveld by £13,750 on the PDC Order of Merit and had to reach one final and win one event to jump above the 48-year-old Dutchman.

Continue reading “Taylor and Barney set for World Matchplay Showdown!”

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