The final three places in the World Championship Quarter-Finals are up for grabs at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night as…
The final three places in the World Championship Quarter-Finals are up for grabs at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night as a clutch of key title contenders collide.
Darius Labanauskas, Luke Humphries and Dimitri van den Bergh became the latest players to book their place in the Last Eight in the afternoon session, leaving six in-form stars to battle it out for the right to join them.
Number three seed Gerwyn Price aims to take another big step towards a dream final show-down with rival Michael van Gerwen on New Year’s Day by dispatching 2010 finalist Simon Whitlock.
Price has proved nothing short of a phenomenon this year, backing up his maiden major title by successfully retaining the Grand Slam last month, while also finishing runner-up in the European Championship and Players Championship Finals.
The Welshman, provisionally ranked world number two for the first time, has emerged as Van Gerwen’s closest challenger for major silverware and headed into this event at by far his shortest ever outright odds.
He was left thanking his lucky stars for a fatal miscount from William O’Connor as he snatched victory in the deciding set to get his campaign off and running before whitewashing John Henderson 4-0 with a 104 average on Friday.
Price is now aiming to reach his first William Hill World Championship Quarter-Final but will be poised for a tough test against a player he has a split head-to-head record against fro their 14 previous meetings.
Whitlock, the world number 14, followed up his run to the final a decade ago with Semi-Final appearances in 2012 and 2014 and has recorded back-to-back wins at Ally Pally for the first time in six years.
The Australian ace has dropped just one set in sweeping aside Harry Ward and Mervyn King so far but knows he must raise his game significantly if he is to be the man to halt Price’s title charge.
A highly-anticipated North East derby sees Middlesbrough’s Glen Durrant take on Newcastle’s Chris Dobey for the first time in televised competition.
The pair are close friends away from the oche, dating back to their time competing on the North East circuit, and have exchanged a friendly war of words ahead of the contest.
Dobey is appearing at this stage of the tournament for the second successive year, having held his nerve to end the historic run of Fallon Sherrock on Friday afternoon to continue his own landmark year.
The Bedlington ace made his Premier League debut as a ‘Contender’ in February before going on to reach two major Semi-Finals, and will fancy his chances of mounting a serious title challenge on the sport’s biggest stage.
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 49-year-old, 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 followed up a commanding straight sets win over Brisbane Masters champion Damon Heta with a solid 4-2 success over world number six Daryl Gurney and knows that a further win here would all but seal a Premier League spot in 2020.
The opening match of the evening sees 2014 world finalist Peter Wright take on Dutch sensation Jeffrey de Zwaan.
De Zwaan defeated Wright 6-4 in the First Round of October’s European Championship in their only televised encounter to date and the bookmakers struggle to separate the pair here based on their respective results so far.
De Zwaan produced the stand-out performance of the tournament so far as he averaged 106 in edging out Dave Chisnall in an epic seven-set show-down before Christmas and will be determined to pick up from where he left off.
The 23-year-old had previously never been beyond the Last 64 of this competition but is now targeting a place in only his third major Quarter-Final.
Wright, on the other hand, stumbled past Filipino qualifier Noel Malicdem in a dramatic tie break before eventually shaking off Japan’s Seigo Asada 4-2 after changing his darts midway through the match.
The colourful Scot is through to the Last 16 here for the first time since 2016/17 and will look to raise his game accordingly in a bid to reach only a third major ranking Quarter-Final of the season.
The action gets underway from 7pm 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
Friday December 27
Saturday December 28
7.15pm Peter Wright v Jeffrey de Zwaan
8.45pm Glen Durrant v Chris Dobey
10.15pm Gerwyn Price v Simon Whitlock