Michael van Gerwen launches his quest for a fourth World Darts Championship title at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night. Van…
Michael van Gerwen launches his quest for a fourth World Darts Championship title at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night.
Van Gerwen boasts an emphatic record at Ally Pally, reaching five finals in his last nine appearances and lifting the Sid Waddell trophy in 2014, 2017 and 2019.
Winner of the Nordic Masters and a Players Championship title in recent months, MVG has shown signs of his blistering best and will be determined to start 2022 with a bang by displacing rival Gerwyn Price as World Champion.
Only Phil Taylor has won more PDC World Championship titles than ‘Mighty Mike’ – who has registered 33 ton-plus averages in the event, including the tournament record of 114.05 in 2017.
Van Gerwen has not lost his opening match at Ally Pally since 2011 and looks to maintain that record by overcoming debutant Chas Barstow in the Last 64.
Barstow is one of three non-Tour Card holders who qualified for the event via the ProTour Order of Merit, having seized his call-up to ProTour events as an associate member.
Barstow, who has reached two Quarter-Finals on the ProTour and also made his debut in the UK Open and Players Championship Finals, marked his debut here by defeating Canada’s John Norman Jnr 3-1.
The opening match of the night sees Chester-le-Street’s Adam Hunt take on Croatian number one Boris Krcmar.
Hunt enjoyed a run to the Third Round behind closed doors 12 months ago and returns having secured the penultimate qualification spot via the ProTour Order of Merit.
Krcmar, who featured in last month’s Grand Slam, was one of three players to come through the last-chance PDPA qualifier and is searching for his first win on the iconic Ally Pally stage at the third attempt.
World Cup of Darts finalist Rowby-John Rodriguez looks to register only his second win on the World Championship stage in his sixth appearance when he faces Welshman Nick Kenny.
Rodriguez is featuring in his fourth ranked major of the year despite being without a Tour Card and would move into the world’s top 64 with a win here.
Kenny, 28, came through the Tour Card Holder qualifier to reach his second PDC World Championship, having defeated Derk Telnekes on debut last year before losing out to Jermaine Wattimena.
Another closely-matched contest sees newly-crowned World Youth Champion Ted Evetts take on former BDO world finalist Jim Williams.
Evetts returns to the palace for the first time since being on the wrong end of history against Fallon Sherrock in Round One two years ago.
The 24-year-old has won a record 14 Development Tour titles and will be determined to replicate that form on the sport’s biggest stages in order to take the next step in his career.
Welsh star Williams is making his PDC World Championship debut after finishing top of the UK Challenge Tour Order of Merit.
The 2019 BDO World Trophy winner competed in the recent Grand Slam, bowing out in the Group Stage despite winning two of his three matches.
The action gets under way from 7pm GMT, with First Round and Second Round matches to be contested over the best five sets, best of five legs per set.
The tie break rule does not apply to First Round matches, meaning the fifth leg of a deciding set would be sudden death, while the final set in matches from Round Two onwards must be won by two clear legs, unless the score reaches 5-5, in which case a sudden-death leg will be played.
World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Four Schedule
Saturday December 18
7.15pm Adam Hunt v Boris Krcmar (R1)
8.15pm Ted Evetts v Jim Williams (R1)
9.15pm Rowby-John Rodriguez v Nick Kenny (R1)
10.15pm Michael van Gerwen v Chas Barstow (R2)