Round Four continues at the World Darts Championship on Wednesday afternoon with two former World Champions among those aiming to…
Round Four continues at the World Darts Championship on Wednesday afternoon with two former World Champions among those aiming to reach the Last Eight.
A breath-taking day of action at Alexandra Palace on Tuesday witnessed a nine-dart finish and two sudden death shoot-outs, and more darting drama is on the cards on the final day of action in 2020.
The afternoon session plays host to a trio of finely-poised ties, the stand-out of which a show-down between two-time champion Gary Anderson and in-form Devon Petersen.
A furious Anderson hit the headlines for his post-match tirade after edging out a methodical Mensur Suljovic earlier in the week, threatening to walk away from the sport if that is how matches are going to be played.
The Flying Scotsman battled past Latvia’s Madars Razma 3-1 with a 96.8 average and dug deep again to deny Suljovic 4-3 and progress to the Last 16 for the seventh consecutive year.
Anderson fell at this hurdle 12 months ago, going down 4-2 to Nathan Aspinall, and will be wary of the threat posed by power-scoring Petersen – who has been arguably the most improved player of the season.
Petersen has picked up his first PDC ranking title this season on the European Tour and came into this event seeded for the first time, having also reached the Semi-Finals of the European Championship.
Renowned as one of the deadliest 180 hitters on planet darts, Petersen reached the Last 16 at Ally Pally two years ago to save his Tour Card and has not looked back since.
The world number 29 has dropped just one set en route to this stage, defeating Ireland’s Steve Lennon 3-1 before whitewashing Jason Lowe 4-0 24 hours ago.
Stephen Bunting is another player enjoying a timely resurgence in his career, and the 2014 Lakeside Champion now looks to reach the Quarter-Finals at Ally Pally for the first time since his debut in 2014/15.
The world number 26 has done it the hard way in reaching this stage, denying Andy Boulton in a sudden death leg before recovering from two sets down to defeat James Wade 4-2 despite a nine-darter from The Machine.
Bunting is making up for lost ground having been forced to withdraw from October’s World Grand Prix due to a positive Covid test and is in reach of his first major Quarter-Final since the 2019 Players Championship Finals.
Searle, meanwhile, finds himself at this stage of the competition for the second time in three years, having once again produced his brilliant best on the sport’s greatest stage.
Searle battled his way past America’s Danny Lauby in a last-set decider in Round One before defying a 98.2 average and nine 180s from Jeffrey de Zwaan to prevail in straight sets.
The Somerset star, who picked up his first Players Championship title at the beginning of the year, then overcame Kim Huybrechts 4-2 to continue his charge under the radar.
The opening match of the afternoon sees world number 11 Daryl Gurney aiming to end the run of popular Dutchman Vincent van der Voort.
Gurney has banished a below-par season with two fine performances so far and is now eyeing a place in his second World Championship Quarter-Final, four years on from his first.
The two-time major champion averaged 99 in a 3-2 opening win over William O’Connor before averaging 101 in a superb 4-1 success over Chris Dobey yesterday afternoon.
The Northern Irishman is now has revenge in his sights after his 11-5 defeat to Van der Voort in July’s World Matchplay.
Van der Voort has typically risen to the occasion in the sport’s show-piece event down the years and now stands on the verge of a third Quarter-Final appearance since 2011.
A quarter-finalist in this year’s World Matchplay, Van der Voort has so far seen off Dutch compatriot Ron Meulenkamp and world number six Nathan Aspinall and will be quietly confident of doing the double over Superchin this season.
The action gets underway from 12pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of seven sets, best of five legs per set.
In a change from previous World Darts Championship rules to reduce the possibility of sessions over-running, there will be no tie-break in any match. Should any deciding set reach two-all, the fifth leg would be the final leg.
William Hill World Darts Championship 2020/21 Schedule
Wednesday December 30
12.15pm Vincent van der Voort v Daryl Gurney
1.30pm Stephen Bunting v Ryan Searle
2.45pm Devon Petersen v Gary Anderson