Eight players from seven different nationalities take to the stage at the 2019/20 World Darts Championship on Wednesday afternoon as…
Eight players from seven different nationalities take to the stage at the 2019/20 World Darts Championship on Wednesday afternoon as the action continues thick and fast at Alexandra Palace.
The ripples of Fallon Sherrock’s ground-breaking win on Tuesday night are still reverberating around Ally Pally as she made history by becoming the first female player to win a match in a PDC World Championship.
Sherrock’s success, in addition to the numerous upsets witnessed so far during the tournament, will offer hope to the underdogs who are set to kick off their World Championship campaigns in the coming days.
Former BDO World Champion Stephen Bunting is the highest-ranked player in action in the afternoon session as he starts out with a Second Round clash against Spain’s Jose Justicia.
Bunting claimed glory at Lakeside in 2014 before joining the PDC and quickly establishing a place among the elite, which he has maintained since.
Runner-up in June’s Czech Open, Bunting has also reached three televised Quarter-Finals in a resurgent season and will be determined to carry that on and avert a fourth consecutive Last 64 exit in the sport’s show-piece.
Justicia marked his Ally Pally debut with a commanding straight sets win over Arron Monk in Round One and was joined in progressing by his compatriot Cristo Reyes on Tuesday.
Justicia, one of three Spaniards on the circuit, has struggled to make an impact in the PDC over the past two years will be keen to make a name for himself on the biggest stage of all.
Ron Meulenkamp aims to avert a potential scalp at the hands of New Zealand debutant Ben Robb in the first match of the afternoon.
Meulenkamp is making his fourth appearance in this competition, having suffered Last 64 exits in each of his previous three, but has enjoyed a fine year on the circuit, reaching three ProTour Semi-Finals.
Robb won the DPNZ qualifier to secure a dream debut at Ally Pally and underlined his potential in the World Series this summer, defeating Simon Whitlock en route to the Quarter-Finals of the New Zealand Masters.
Seigo Asada aims to follow in the footsteps of Japanese compatriot Yuki Yamada in progressing to Round Two when he takes on Northern Ireland’s Mickey Mansell.
Soft-tip star Asada was beaten by James Wade here 12 months ago in a dramatic contest and is returning for a third stint in this event having finished second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Mansell, who secured the 32nd and final ProTour spot, suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Canada’s Jim Long here last time out and will be determined to bounce back and display the form which led him to a Players Championship title in 2018.
Another closely-matched tie sees Players Championship event winner Harry Ward take on Latvia’s Madars Razma.
Ward has enjoyed a breakthrough year since securing his Tour Card at Qualifying School in January, kicking on from the promise he showed on the Development Tour and Challenge Tour to earn a debut at Ally Pally at the age of 22.
Ramza makes his first appearance in this prestigious tournament as a PDC Nordic & Baltic rankings qualifier and has also appeared in the UK Open and Players Championship Finals.
The 31-year-old reached the final of a Players Championship event in 2018 and is the most successful darter ever to hail from Latvia, having also made three appearances in the BDO World Championship.
The action gets underway from 12.30pm GMT, with First Round and Second Round matches to be contested over the best of five sets, best of five legs per set.
A tie-break will be in operation from the second round onwards, 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
Wednesday December 18
12.45pm Ron Meulenkamp v Ben Robb
1.45pm Mickey Mansell v Seigo Asada
2.45pm Harry Ward v Madars Razma
3.45pm Stephen Bunting v Jose Justicia (Second Round)