Three players aim to break new ground on Tuesday by reaching the Last 16 of the World Darts Championship for…
Three players aim to break new ground on Tuesday by reaching the Last 16 of the World Darts Championship for the first time.
Day 11 of the sport’s show-piece features another unmissable double session of Third Round action, with the afternoon playing host to six in-form potential outsiders.
World number 13 Joe Cullen is the highest-ranked player in action and he looks to equal his best-ever run in this event by overcoming Dutch debutant Martijn Kleermaker.
Cullen had won just one game in ten visits to Ally Pally prior to reaching Round Four 12 months ago, where he was denied by Michael van Gerwen in a sudden death epic after squandering a 3-1 lead and missing two match darts.
Since then, ‘The Rockstar’ has gone on to win a further two Players Championship titles to add to his two European Tour event triumphs and is well established among the elite top 16.
Cullen twice came from a set behind to edge out Jim Williams 3-2 in his opener with a 97 average and eight maximums, and now looks to end the hopes of another dangerous newcomer.
Kleermaker is making up for lost time after missing last year’s World Championship due to Covid and has started superbly by defeating Greece’s John Michael and 20th seed Simon Whitlock by 3-1 scorelines.
The 30-year-old reached the Last 16 of this year’s UK Open and would climb into the world’s top 40 if he can upset the apple-cart this afternoon.
A grudge clash sees Ryan Searle take on Danny Noppert as world number 15 and 18 collide in what looks to be a close-run show-down.
Searle send out a calling card to Noppert following his opening win over nine-dart hero Willie Borland in straight sets, admitting he wanted to beat the Dutchman for the first time, having lost all five of their previous meetings to date.
Runner-up in November’s Players Championship Finals, power-scorer Searle is bidding to reach the Last 16 of the World Championship for the third time in four years.
Noppert, meanwhile, is through to the Third Round for the third consecutive year at Ally Pally, having seen off Jason Heaver by three sets to one before Christmas.
A landmark season for ‘The Freeze’ has seen him reach the Semi-Finals of the World Grand Prix, defeating Michael van Gerwen along the way, as well as the Quarter-Finals of the European Championship.
The opening match of the afternoon sees darting stalwart Mervyn King take on in-form Irishman Steve Lennon.
The duo are situated in a wide open second quarter of the draw, with Australian qualifier Raymond Smith awaiting the winner in the Last 16, and both will envisage this as a golden opportunity.
King is making his 15th consecutive appearance at Ally Pally, underlining his terrific longevity, with his best run coming back in 2009 when he reached the Semi-Finals.
Masters runner-up at the beginning of the year, King has featured in every televised ranking major this season and produced a magnificent comeback from two sets down to defeat Ryan Joyce in his opener here.
Lennon is the last-remaining Republic of Ireland representative in the competition, having knocked out Latvia’s Madars Razma and 12th seed Krzysztof Ratajski to reach the Third Round for the first time in his fifth appearance.
World Cup of Darts finalist in 2019, Lennon has fired in 13 maximums so far and is already guaranteed to climb eight places in the Order of Merit to 44th as he bids to launch another assault on the top 32 after a decline in form in recent times.
The action gets under way from 12.30pm GMT, with Third Round matches to be contested over the best seven sets, best of five legs per set.
Final set in matches must be won by two clear legs, unless the score reaches 5-5, in which case a sudden-death leg will be played.
William Hill World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day 11 Schedule
Tuesday December 28
12.45pm Steve Lennon v Mervyn King
2.00pm Ryan Searle v Danny Noppert
3.15pm Joe Cullen v Martijn Kleermaker