The 2019/20 World Darts Championship resumes on Friday afternoon as Fallon Sherrock looks to extend her historic run and Glen…
The 2019/20 World Darts Championship resumes on Friday afternoon as Fallon Sherrock looks to extend her historic run and Glen Durrant also steps up his own pursuit of history.
After the three-day Christmas break, it’s back to business at Alexandra Palace as the Third Round action continues in the £2.5 million show-piece.
Just four places remain up for grabs in the Last 16, with three ties taking place in the afternoon session before the final remaining Third Round match takes place in the evening session.
Sherrock has stolen the show at this year’s William Hill World Championship and is likely to be THE stand-out story of the tournament regardless of what happens from here on in.
The 25-year-old sent shockwaves through the sporting world when she became the first woman to defeat a man in a PDC World Championship, courtesy of her deciding-set triumph over Ted Evetts, before backing it up with a sensational 3-1 scalp of world number 11 Mensur Suljovic.
The 2015 women’s world finalist has made headlines worldwide and has been thrust into the limelight as a new trailblazer for women’s sport, but has taken it all in her stride so far.
She is now looking to pick up from where she left off by pulling off what would be another monumental upset when she takes on world number 22 Chris Dobey.
Sherrock’s stunning finishing (68.75%) proved the undoing of Suljovic, and any repeat performance could spell danger for Dobey – who will also be forced to contend with 3,000 fans rooting for his opponent.
Like Evetts and Suljovic, Dobey enters the contest as huge odds-on favourite and will look to shake off any early nerves with an assured start in the first two sets.
The Bedlington ace, who made his Premier League debut as a ‘Contender’ in February before going on to reach two major Semi-Finals this season, is bidding to reach the Last 16 at Ally Pally for the second successive year.
Dobey averaged 96.3 in a 3-2 victory over Ron Meulenkamp in his opener and now faces a test different to anything he will ever have experienced on a televised stage previously.
Meanwhile, three-time Lakeside Champion Durrant resumes his pursuit of a dream debut triumph when he takes on world number six Daryl Gurney.
Durrant is bidding to become the first player ever to hold the BDO and PDC world titles simultaneously in a remarkable feat that would cap off a fairy-tale first season as a PDC professional in style.
The Middlesbrough marksman, who narrowly came through Qualifying School in January, has reached the Semi-Finals of the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Grand Slam, while also picking up two Players Championship titles.
He produced a solid opening salvo to see off Brisbane Masters champion Damon Heta in straight sets last week but now faces a formidable test against the two-time major champion.
Gurney won his first European Tour title this season to add to a runner-up spot in the Melbourne Masters and a Semi-Final defeat at the World Matchplay.
A quarter-finalist here in 2016/17, Gurney has bowed out prior to the Last 16 stage in his five other appearances at Ally Pally but began brightly by brushing aside Justin Pipe in consecutive sets.
Gurney defeated ‘Duzza’ 7-3 in the Premier League in Glasgow earlier this year, their only previous televised encounter to date, before registering one win apiece on the European Tour.
The opening match of the afternoon sees two darting stalwarts collide as 2010 world finalist Simon Whitlock meets two-time Lakeside runner-up Mervyn King.
The vastly experienced duo have met 37 times over the past 14 years but this marks their first show-down in a World Championship on either side of the darting divide.
Whitlock, the world number 14, followed up his run to the final a decade ago with Semi-Final appearances in 2012 and 2014, but has since struggled on this iconic stage, suffering three Last 64 exits and two Last 32 losses in his last five visits.
The Australian ace was ruthless in thrashing debutant Harry Ward 3-0 in his opener and will look to continue in that vein in a quest to record back-to-back wins in this tournament for the first time in six years.
King’s best performance at Ally Pally came a decade ago when he reached the Semi-Finals, but the multiple major finalist has also struggled on this stage since, making the Last 16 on just one occasion.
King has produced his best form on the big stage this season, reaching three major Quarter-Finals, including the World Matchplay and notably defeated Michael van Gerwen at the UK Open in March.
He began by edging out Irish youngster Ciaran Teehan in a last-set decider and will be braced for another potentially long-haul contest under the intense heat of the sport’s biggest stage.
The action gets underway from 12.30pm GMT, with Third Round matches to be contested over the best of seven sets, best of five legs per set.
A tie-break will be in operation, where the final set must be won by two clear legs. If the score reaches 5-5, the 11th leg will be sudden-death.
William Hill World Championship 2019/20 Match Schedule
Friday December 27
12.45pm Simon Whitlock v Mervyn King
2.15pm Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
3.45pm Fallon Sherrock v Chris Dobey