Van Gerwen and Anderson set up dream World Championship Semi-Final as Aspinall and Smith also progress

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 29 Dec 2018
Gary Anderson celebrates (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Rivals Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson will collide in the Semi-Finals of the 2018/19 World Championship after commanding wins at Alexandra Palace on Saturday, while Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall also progressed.

Van Gerwen and Anderson, the two dominant forces of the season, will lock horns in a mouth-watering contest on Sunday after dispatching Ryan Joyce and Dave Chisnall respectively.

Anderson, the reigning UK Open and World Matchplay champion, overcame Chisnall by five sets to two to reach his fourth Semi-Final in his last five visits to Ally Pally.

The number four seed averaged 103 and landed 12 maximums in a superb all-round display, ending the contest with 55 per cent on the doubles.

"Dave always gives you a tough game so I'm glad to make it through, and the 180s are back which is pleasing," said Anderson.

"My back was still a bit sore, so it was good that I could get the job done in fairly quick time and now I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

"I know what Michael is going to give to me and he's going to get it back."

A blistering start from the Scotsman saw him take the opening set to nil in just 39 darts, before winning the second set 3-1 to double his advantage.

Finishes of 121 and 112 from Chisnall applied the pressure in set three, but Anderson took the deciding leg to go 3-0 ahead.

A resilient Chisnall came from 2-0 down to take the fourth set, but back-to-back checkouts of 115 and 130 helped Anderson restore his three-set cushion at 4-1.

The deciding leg of set six went the way of Chisnall, but any hopes of a comeback from the St Helens man were put to bed by Anderson who ended the contest with a 171 followed by a 48 finish to make it through to the Last Four.

Van Gerwen eased into the Semi-Finals with a 5-1 triumph over Joyce, which saw the world number one post his 17th consecutive ton-plus average on the Alexandra Palace stage.
 
The opening two sets went MVG's way for the loss of just one leg, before Joyce took out 66 on the bull in the deciding leg of set three to go within a set of the Dutchman.
 
However, the comeback was short-lived as Van Gerwen won the deciding leg of the fourth set to stretch clear once again, restoring his two-set advantage.
 
The Dutchman took the fifth and sixth sets 3-1 to wrap up the win and continue his quest for a third success at Alexandra Palace, where he will meet Anderson in a replay of the 2016/17 final.
 
"I think I played well overall tonight, but I had a terrible spell because I put too much pressure on myself," said Van Gerwen.
 
"I wanted to show everyone what I can do and I dipped down a bit but I can't really complain with a 5-1 win.
 
"Tomorrow night I will be expecting something special from myself, I can't let myself down and I need to make sure I'm sharp.

"Everyone wanted this to be the final [against Anderson] but it's the Semi-Final and I want to get it out of the way."
 
The winner of that show-down will face either Smith or Aspinall in the final on New Year's Day after the duo advanced to the Semi-Finals for the first time with convincing victories over Luke Humphries and Brendan Dolan respectively.
 
Premier League finalist Smith had no trouble in defeating Humphries 5-1 with a dominant display which saw him end the match with a 103 average.
 
Smith sealed the opening set with a 117 checkout, before taking the second without dropping a leg to double his lead.
 
Humphries, who ended Rob Cross' reign as World Champion on Friday, fired in a 170 finish on his way to halving the deficit, only for Smith to restore his two-set cushion by taking the fourth set 3-1.
 
Smith won the deciding leg of set five, and followed it up with two 11-dart legs in the sixth to edge closer to his first World Championship title.
 
"My dream is another step close to reality now, I'm pleased with my scoring but not my doubles-hitting," said Smith.
 
"The way I was two or three years ago that game probably would've turned out differently but I'm a different player now and I put my foot down when I need to.
 
"I told my son the only time he can come on the stage is if I win this trophy, I've never even touched the trophy myself and I won't do so until I win it."
 
Aspinall continued his dream debut run with an impressive 5-1 demolition of Dolan.
 
After cruising through the opening set without the loss of a leg, Aspinall won the deciding leg of set two to double his lead.
 
It got even better for the former World Youth Championship runner-up as a magnificent 132 checkout helped him on his way to set three, before landing a 122 finish on his way to a 4-0 lead.
 
Former World Grand Prix runner-up Dolan won three consecutive legs to get a set on the board, but 27-year-old Aspinall slammed the door in the Northern Irishman's face, wrapping up the win with a 96 finish.
 
"It feels unreal, this is a life-changing win for me and my family," said Aspinall.
 
"I felt really relaxed and I enjoyed it up there today, it's probably the most calm and confident I've felt up there even though that was the biggest game of my life.
 
"The dream isn't over yet, I feel there's more to come from me and I can't wait to play my semi-final. I'm just loving every minute of this!"

World Darts Championship 2018/19 Results


Saturday December 29

Quarter-Finals

Afternoon Session
Nathan Aspinall 5-1 Brendan Dolan
Dave Chisnall 2-5 Gary Anderson
 
Evening Session
Luke Humphries 1-5 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 5-1 Ryan Joyce

Sunday December 30 

Semi-Finals

7pm-10pm
Nathan Aspinall v Michael Smith
Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen



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Van Gerwen and Anderson set up dream World Championship Semi-Final as Aspinall and Smith also progress

Rivals Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson will collide in the Semi-Finals of the 2018/19 World Championship after commanding wins at Alexandra Palace on Saturday, while Michael Smith and Nathan Aspinall also progressed.

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