Krzysztof Ratajski headlines the action in the afternoon session on Day Three of the 2021/22 World Darts Championship at Alexandra…
Krzysztof Ratajski headlines the action in the afternoon session on Day Three of the 2021/22 World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace.
Ratajski returns for a fifth consecutive campaign at Ally Pally, having established himself as a stalwart of the world’s top 16 in recent years.
The former BDO World Masters champion has been one of the most consistent performers on both floor and stage this season and remains in pursuit of a first televised PDC title.
Semi-finalist in the World Matchplay and World Series Finals this year, ‘The Polish Eagle’ has also claimed a Players Championship title and comes into the event as number 12 seed.
His first test comes against Ireland’s Steve Lennon – who overcame Latvia’s Madars Razma 3-1 on Thursday afternoon.
Lennon is making his fifth consecutive World Championship appearance and will be determined to get his career back on track with a strong run this festive season, having dropped to 52nd in the Order of Merit.
Meanwhile, a quick-fire show-down sees Dutch star Jermaine Wattimena take on Russian number one Boris Koltsov.
Wattimena comes into the event unseeded for the first time since 2017, having tumbled to 37th in the Order of Merit following a poor season by his standards.
The former World Grand Prix quarter-finalist has undergone a drastic weight-loss regime but is yet to reap the rewards on the oche, failing to qualify for three ranked majors this season.
Koltsov is appearing in his fifth World Championship after winning the EuroAsian Darts Corporation Qualifier in October and is seeking his first victory on the iconic Ally Pally stage.
The former World Cup of Darts quarter-finalist secured a two-year Tour Card at European Qualifying School in February and has reached the Last 32 of three Players Championship events this season.
Teenage sensation Keane Barry aims to record his first win here at the third attempt by overcoming Hong Kong’s Royden Lam.
The 19-year-old Irish ace has lost out to Vincent van der Voort and Jeff Smith in successive Ally Pally appearances but returns with the benefit of having competed full-time on the professional circuit.
Runner-up on the 2020 Development Tour Order of Merit and a Challenge Tour event winner in 2020, Barry reached the Quarter-Finals of Players Championship 22 and also qualified for the European Championship.
Lam made his World Championship debut in 2014 before returning five years later, but remains without a win.
The soft-tip star, three times a PDC Asian Tour event winner and a former PDC Tour Card Holder, won the Asian Tour qualifier to seal his return.
The opening tie of the session sees former ProTour event winner Ryan Joyce take on Czech debutant Roman Benecký.
Joyce reached the Quarter-Finals on his PDC World Championship debut in 2018/19 and impressed during last month’s Grand Slam when he finished top of his group before losing out to Rob Cross in the Last 16.
Benecký, who featured in the 2018 World Cup of Darts, secured his place in this event by winning the East Europe Qualifier, defeating compatriot and Tour Card holder Karel Sedláček along the way.
The action gets under way from 12.30pm 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 Three Schedule
Friday December 17
12.45pm Ryan Joyce v Roman Benecky (R1)
1.45pm Keane Barry v Royden Lam (R1)
2.45pm Jermaine Wattimena v Boris Koltsov (R1)
3.45pm Krzysztof Ratajski v Steve Lennon (R2)