Peter Wright defied a sensational fightback from Jeffrey de Zwaan to book his place in the Quarter-Finals of the 2019/20…
Peter Wright defied a sensational fightback from Jeffrey de Zwaan to book his place in the Quarter-Finals of the 2019/20 World Championship on Saturday, as Gerwyn Price and Glen Durrant broke new ground at Alexandra Palace.
Wright, the 2014 runner-up, held his nerve to come through a tense tie-break to edge out Dutch ace De Zwaan, having initially surrendered a 3-0 lead.
Wright got off to a flying start, landing a 149 checkout on his way to taking the first three sets without reply to go within a touching distance of the Quarter-Finals.
Finishes of 130 and 76 followed from the PDC World Cup winner, who looked to have taken an unassailable position at three sets up and two legs up in the fourth.
De Zwaan, though, battled back from the brink by winning three legs in a row to get his first set on the board, and then turned the game on its head by winning the next two sets to level up.
An epic contest went all the way to a tie-break, before the seventh leg of the decider saw Wright land a 180 on his way to a crucial break of throw which he followed up with a hold to seal his spot in the Last Eight.
“I just ran out of energy, I was feeling really bad up there after the first three sets,” admitted Wright.
“I felt like I was going to pass out on stage, I was feeling really bad but I got through.
“The good thing is that games under pressure like this can help lift your level to where it needs to be for the rest of the tournament.
“I was waiting for Jeffrey to start playing, I knew he would but I didn’t want him to!”
Three-time Lakeside Championship winner Durrant continued his dream Ally Pally debut with a hard-fought deciding-set win over North East rival Chris Dobey.
A nip-and-tuck affair saw Dobey claim the opening set, only for the Northumbrian to concede two-leg leads in the next two sets as Durrant’s set-play experience came to the fore.
A 109 finish saw Middlesbrough’s Durrant extend his lead to 3-1 in sets, only for a determined Dobey to win six of the next eight legs to take the contest to a decider.
Durrant outscored Dobey in the final set, not allowing his opponent a dart before crowning victory with a 146 outshot.
“That was a hard game,” said Durrant. “I really suffered with the heat tonight.
“There was a big thing made about the North East derby but it was nice to get over the line.
“Chris Dobey is a superstar and he’s going to be a World Champion one day.
“I’m in the Quarter-Final now and I think I’m going to relax and I’m going to be dangerous.”
World number three Price made it through to the Quarter-Finals for the first time as he overcame Simon Whitlock 4-2 despite not being at his brilliant best.
After Australian number one Whitlock missed four darts to win the opening set, Price pounced and then landed finishes of 108 and 72 on his way to doubling the advantage.
A typically resilient Whitlock fought back to take two of the next three sets, only for Price to hit crucial finishes of 112 and 72 to set up a meeting with Glen Durrant.
“I think that was probably the worst I played for a long time,” Price admitted. “From the off I was rubbish and Simon wasn’t any better.
“I think it was just a poor performance from both of us and I was lucky to win.
“The pace of the game wasn’t suiting me and I think Simon did that on purpose. Some people just try and drag you down.
“I tried my hardest but sometimes when you try too hard it never happens.”
World Youth Champion Luke Humphries reached the Last Eight for a second successive year after a dominant display saw him complete a 4-1 rout of Kim Huybrechts.
Humphries hit ten 180s in an entertaining encounter which turned in his favour in the deciding leg of set three when his Belgian opponent declined a dart at the bullseye for an 83 checkout and he took full advantage with a 146 finish.
Huybrechts had snatched the first set after Humphries missed three darts at double top but the 24-year-old won nine of the last ten legs to seal a comprehensive win.
Two-time World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh progressed to the Quarter-Finals for the second time in three years after twice coming from two sets behind to edge out Adrian Lewis 4-3 in a thrilling encounter.
Lewis took out a 123 checkout in the opening leg on the way to claiming each of the first two sets by three legs to one.
Van den Bergh took set three by the same margin but Lewis edged the fourth 3-2 with the aid of a 113 finish to open up a 3-1 lead.
Two-time World Champion Lewis added a third ton-plus checkout with a 136 in set five but it proved to be in vain as Van den Bergh won the set 3-1 to ignite his fightback.
Finishes of 98 and 76 helped the Belgian take the sixth set to force a decider, which he won 3-1 to reach the last eight, where he will face 2019 UK Open Champion Nathan Aspinall.
Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen will face Darius Labanauskas after the Lithuanian reached the Quarter-Finals for the first time after defeating 1996 World Champion Steve Beaton 4-2.
Labanauskas took out 114 to edge the opening set 3-2 but Beaton hit back by winning the second in a decider with a brilliant bullseye finish of 86.
The next two sets were shared before Lithuanian thrower Labanauskas went on to seal victory by winning six of the last of seven legs.
The William Hill World Championship continues on Sunday December 29, with four Quarter-Final ties taking place across two unmissable sessions.
William Hill World Championship 2019/20 Results
Saturday December 28
Steve Beaton 2-4 Darius Labanauskas
Kim Huybrechts 1-4 Luke Humphries
Adrian Lewis 3-4 Dimitri van den Bergh
Peter Wright 4-3 Jeffrey de Zwaan
Glen Durrant 4-3 Chris Dobey
Gerwyn Price 4-2 Simon Whitlock