Scotland’s World Cup of Darts winners take centre stage at Alexandra Palace in the final session of the World Championship…
Scotland’s World Cup of Darts winners take centre stage at Alexandra Palace in the final session of the World Championship before the Christmas break.
The field is being whittled down at a rate of knots as the big names battle to book their place in the business end of the competition from December 27 onwards.
Gary Anderson knows exactly what it takes to go the distance in this event, having done so back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, and ‘The Flying Scotsman’ steps up his latest title pursuit with a Third Round show-down against Ryan Searle.
Anderson rarely featured among the stand-out title contenders in the pre-tournament build-up, but his impressive opening salvo made the critics sit up and take notice.
A 25/1 outsider for glory before a dart was thrown, Anderson has seen his odds halved after brushing aside Brendan Dolan in straight sets, though he remains on a potential collision course for a Semi-Final meeting with nemesis Michael van Gerwen.
Anderson missed much of the first half of the season, including the Premier League, through injury and has struggled to keep pace with his rivals since his return.
The world number five did pick up the World Cup of Darts title alongside Peter Wright in June but has not been beyond the Quarter-Finals of a televised singles event since his last outing at Ally Pally.
Searle, meanwhile has continued his love affair with this competition, banishing a disappointing season by progressing to the Last 32 here for the second year running.
The 32-year-old began brightly again by defeating Australia’s Robbie King in a deciding set with nine 180s to his name before registering the second highest average of the tournament so far (101.54) in sweeping aside Steve West in consecutive sets.
Anderson’s World Cup winning team-mate Peter Wright aims to kick on from his nail-biting sudden death Second Round reprieve when he takes on another Asian star in Seigo Asada.
Wright produced a pivotal 140 checkout on the way to a last-leg win over Philippines’ qualifier Noel Malicdem and is now eyeing a Last 16 berth for the first time in three years.
Grand Slam aside, ‘Snakebite’ has struggled to make an impact in major ranked tournaments this year but has picked up German Masters title and was runner-up in both the Champions League of Darts and Grand Slam.
Asada is flying the flag for Japan as he aims to pull off a major upset and continue his landmark run in the sport’s show-piece.
Asada recovered from losing the first seven legs to defeat world number 26 Keegan Brown in a tie break set, following on from his straight sets rout of Mickey Mansell.
A mouth-watering opening match of the night sees tenth seed Dave Chisnall take on Dutch sensation Jeffrey de Zwaan in what promises to be a quick-fire thriller.
Chisnall reached his second William Hill World Championship Quarter-Final 12 months ago and has since won the Danish Open, two Players Championships and finished runner-up to MVG in October’s Grand Prix.
The St Helens power-scorer has been widely tipped for another strong run at Ally Pally and began brightly by seeing off Vincent van der Voort 3-1 in Round Two.
Former World Matchplay semi-finalist De Zwaan is making only his third appearance in the sport’s blue riband event and is into the Last 32 for the first time following a hard-fought 3-2 victory over giant-killer Darin Young – who knocked out Raymond van Barneveld in Round One.
De Zwaan has the upper-hand when it comes to the head-to-heads, having won five of their seven previous meetings, including the Quarter-Finals of last year’s World Matchplay.
The action gets underway from 7pm 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
Monday December 23
7.15pm Dave Chisnall v Jeffrey De Zwaan
8.45pm Gary Anderson v Ryan Searle
10.15pm Peter Wright v Seigo Asada