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World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Two | Afternoon Session preview and order of play

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Anderson denies Lewis in World Championship Second Round as O’Connor edges Lauby in sudden death

World Darts Championship 2021/22 Day Two | Evening Session preview and order of play

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 16 Dec 2021
Lewis and Anderson collide (Photo by Chris Dean/PDC)

Gary Anderson begins his bid for a third World Darts Championship title at Alexandra Palace on Thursday evening with a clash against fellow two-time winner Adrian Lewis.

Part two of a tasty double-header on Day Two features a further quartet of tasty ties, headlined by a clash between two of the sport’s most decorated stars.

A repeat of two previous World Championship finals sees Anderson and Lewis renew their competitive rivalry on the sport’s greatest stage, with a place in Round Three at stake.

Lewis, who came into the event unseeded for the first time since the move from the Circus Tavern, got his campaign off and running with an impressive 3-1 win over Matt Campbell on opening night.

Now ranked world number 35, ‘Jackpot’ has appeared in only two televised ranking tournaments this year – the UK Open and the Players Championship Finals – and has failed to surpass the Last 16 stage of the World Championship since finishing runner-up in 2016.

Anderson, winner here in 2015 and 2016, returns to the palace as the number six seed looking to go one better than his runner-up spot behind closed doors in January.

The Flying Scotsman boasts one of the most impressive records on the Ally Pally stage, having appeared in five finals in the space of a decade and having never lost his opening match.

However, he has endured a season to forget by his standards, failing to reach a major ranking Quarter-Final for the first time since joining the PDC back in 2009.

The opening match of the night sees former World Cup of Darts finalist Willie O’Connor take on American ace Danny Lauby.

William O’Connor reacts (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Former Premier League ‘Challenger’ O’Connor is making his fifth consecutive World Championship appearance, having made it past the First Round every year since the field was increased to 96 players.

O’Connor warmed up for the sport’s show-piece with a run to the Last 16 of the Players Championship Finals and was a semi-finalist in the season’s penultimate ProTour event.

Lauby, meanwhile, returns to Ally Pally for the second successive year, having lost out to Ryan Searle in a last-set decider behind closed doors in 2020.

The left-hander secured his return by finishing top of the CDC US Tour Final Standings and recently participated in the Modus Live League.

A landmark moment for German darts sees 16-year-old sensation Fabian Schmutzler make his televised debut against seven-time Development Tour event winner Ryan Meikle.

Schmutzler sealed a dream debut spot at Ally Pally by finishing second on the PDC Europe Development Tour Order of Merit and will become the second youngest player in PDC World Championship history since Mitchell Clegg (16 years, 37 days) in 2006/07.

Meikle is vying for his first win on the sport’s biggest stage at the third attempt and registered a blistering 108.7 average in defeating Dirk van Duijvenbode at the recent Players Championship Finals.

The Ipswich left-hander also reached the Quarter-Finals of a Players Championship event in October and has retained his Tour Card for next season.

Four-time Women’s World Champion Lisa Ashton returns for her third appearance at Ally Pally and has been drawn to face Dutch left-hander Ron Meulenkamp.

Ashton has won at least one set in each of her two matches in this event to date, losing out to Jan Dekker in 2018 and Adam Hunt in 2020.

Runner-up in this year’s PDC Women’s Series Order of Merit, Ashton picked up five of the ten available titles and also enjoyed a number of impressive scalps on the ProTour, beating the likes of Adrian Lewis and Nathan Aspinall.

It is likely ‘The Lancashire Rose’ will need to win at least two matches here if she is to have a chance of retaining her Tour Card for 2022.

Meulenkamp, the world number 54, returns for a sixth stint at the palace but is yet to make it beyond the Second Round stage.

His best run of the season to date saw him reach the Last 16 of a Players Championship event on three occasions, as well as the Last 32 of the UK Open.

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 Two Schedule

Thursday December 16

Evening Session

7.15pm William O’Connor v Danny Lauby (R1)
8.15pm Ryan Meikle v Fabian Schmutzler (R1)
9.15pm Ron Meulenkamp v Lisa Ashton (R1)
10.15pm Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis (R2)

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