Two former World Champions two World Youth Championship winners are among the latest hopefuls aiming to book their place in…
Two former World Champions two World Youth Championship winners are among the latest hopefuls aiming to book their place in the Quarter-Finals of the World Championship on Saturday afternoon.
Reigning World Champion Michael van Gerwen and UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall became the first players to secure a spot in the Last Eight on Friday, while Fallon Sherrock’s fairy-tale run was brought to an end in the Last 32.
The afternoon session features a trio of closely-matched Last 16 ties, kicking off with a show-down between veteran Steve Beaton and Lithuanian star Darius Labanauskas.
At the age of 55, Beaton is the eldest of the 14 players left standing in the competition and has incredibly broken new ground in a PDC World Championship.
Lakeside World Champion back in 1996, ‘The Bronzed Adonis’ has twice reached the Last 16 since making his debut at The Circus Tavern in 2002 but had never won consecutive matches in this event prior to defeating Kyle Anderson and multiple major champion James Wade before Christmas.
The world number 25 was a quarter-finalist at the UK Open in March and last made the Quarter-Finals of a World Championship at Lakeside 21 years ago, underlining his astounding longevity.
Beaton now faces another tricky test as he bids to set up a show-down with MVG, with Labanauskas having continued his love affair with this competition with three impressive wins en route to this stage.
The world number 82, who dumped out Raymond van Barneveld on his debut here 12 months ago, has already put Matthew Edgar, Ian White and Max Hopp to the sword in a run which carries him in to the world’s top 64.
Labanauskas, who is flying the flag for the Baltic region, has won both of his previous meetings with Beaton, with both having come in Players Championship events this year.
Reigning World Youth Champion Luke Humphries aims to equal his landmark run to the Quarter-Finals 12 months ago by ending the resurgent run of Kim Huybrechts.
Humphries enjoyed a breakthrough campaign which notably saw him dethrone defending champion Rob Cross last year and has backed that up superbly with victories over Devon Petersen, Jermaine Wattimena and Nico Kurz to advance through a wide open section of the draw.
An 11-time Development Tour winner, ‘Cool Hand Luke’ is aiming to become the first player to win the World Youth Championship and World Championship titles in the same season.
Huybrechts, meanwhile, is through to the Last 16 at Ally Pally for the fourth time and is going some way towards banishing what has been a below-par season for the Belgian ace.
The former Players Championship Finals and PDC World Cup runner-up followed up his last-set win over Geert Nentjes in Round One with a straight sets scalp of second seed Rob Cross before going on to defeat Danny Noppert 4-2 to continue his superb run.
The final match of the afternoon sees two-time World Champion Adrian Lewis take on two-time World Youth Champion Dimitri van den Bergh.
Lewis, the number 13 seed, has dug deep to uphold his fine record in this prestigious competition, which saw claim back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 before finishing runner-up in 2016.
The Stoke star has had to do it the hard way so far, battling back to edge out Spain’s Cristo Reyes in a tie break before recovering from two sets down to deny Darren Webster in a seven-set tie break in arguably the most entertaining match of the tournament so far.
Quarter-finalist in last month’s Grand Slam, ‘Jackpot’ has endured a turbulent two years both on and off the oche and is vying to restore his former glories on the sport’s greatest stage.
Van den Bergh is looking to equal his landmark run to the Last Eight here two years ago and enjoyed two impressive wins prior to the festive break, averaging 103.8 in a straight sets rout of Josh Payne before overcoming Luke Woodhouse 4-2 with a tenacious display.
Like Lewis, the Belgian number one is a renowned big stage performer and will be determined to rise to the occasion once again in what promises to be a close-run classic.
The action gets underway from 12.30pm GMT, with Fourth 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
Saturday December 28
12.45pm Steve Beaton v Darius Labanauskas
2.15pm Kim Huybrechts v Luke Humphries
3.45pm Adrian Lewis v Dimitri van den Bergh