James Wade aims to avoid becoming the latest high-profile casualty of the World Darts Championship when he commences his latest…
James Wade aims to avoid becoming the latest high-profile casualty of the World Darts Championship when he commences his latest Ally Pally campaign on Wednesday evening.
Wade, a nine-time televised title winner, starts his quest for an elusive maiden world title with a Second Round tie against debutant Ritchie Edhouse in the final match of the evening session.
The world number eight claimed European Championship and World Series Finals glory in late 2018 but has enjoyed much of his success in floor tournaments this season, picking up no fewer than five Players Championship titles.
The Aldershot left-hander surrendered both of those TV titles at the first hurdle but has reached the final of The Masters and the Semi-Finals of the Premier League this season and will be keen to end it on the biggest possible high.
Hoping to shut down ‘The Machine’ is world number 88 Edhouse – who marked a dream debut with a 3-1 victory over Russia’s Boris Koltsov just 24 hours ago and has experience of beating Wade on a stage, having done so in last year’s Dutch Championship.
James Wilson gets his fourth consecutive PDC World Championship underway with a show-down against German youngster Nico Kurz.
A former BDO World Trophy winner and World Masters finalist, Wilson has never been beyond the Last 32 stage of this competition and is continuing his recovery a serious eye problem which has hampered his progress this season.
Kurz, 22, marked his TV debut with victory over Gary Anderson on home soil in July’s German Masters World Series event and clinched a spot in his first World Championship by winning the German Superleague.
Kurz’s fellow countryman Gabriel Clemens starts his second World Championship campaign with a tie against Dutch ace Benito van de Pas.
Clemens has emerged as Germany’s new darting force to challenge top-ranked Max Hopp, having reached a career-high ranking of 42 with the power to add.
Runner-up in the German Masters World Series event, ‘The German Giant’ has also reached two Players Championship finals and qualified for the Grand Slam – where he topped the group and reached the knock-out phase.
Van de Pas, who has reached the Last 16 here on four occasions, has tumbled out of the world’s top 50 after a torrid 18 months on the circuit but secured his sixth consecutive World Championship appearance by winning through last month’s PDPA qualifying event.
Elsewhere, former World Youth finalist Josh Payne aims to deny Brazil’s Diogo Portela a first win on the World Championship stage when the pair collide in Round One.
Payne broke new ground in March by reaching the Quarter-Finals of his first TV major – the UK Open – following up a Players Championship triumph in 2018.
Payne defeated Jeff Smith 3-2 in Round One 12 months ago before losing out in an epic tie break to Dave Chisnall and now faces a tricky opener against the Challenge Tour star.
Portela is making his third consecutive Ally Pally appearance, having won the South American qualifier, and has a Semi-Final under his belt on the Challenge Tour this year as well as a run to the Last 16 on the ProTour.
The action gets underway from 7pm 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
7.15pm James Wilson v Nico Kurz
8.15pm Josh Payne v Diogo Portela
9.15pm Gabriel Clemens v Benito van de Pas
10.15pm James Wade v Ritchie Edhouse (Second Round)