More darting drama is set to unfold at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night as the reigning BDO World Champion and…
More darting drama is set to unfold at Alexandra Palace on Saturday night as the reigning BDO World Champion and women’s history-maker take to the stage.
A staggering 24 matches have gone to a last-set decider already in this year’s William Hill World Championship, just five fewer than the entire total during last year’s event.
And with a further four unmissable Second Round ties on the way in the evening session of Day Nine, more drama and excitement is guaranteed.
All eyes will be on Fallon Sherrock as she aims to continue her historic run in the sport’s show-piece by pulling off what would be an astonishing upset against world number 11 Mensur Suljovic.
Sherrock became the first female ever to win a match in a PDC World Championship when she defeated Ted Evetts 3-2 on Tuesday, a story which received worldwide news coverage and has catapulted the 25-year-old into the limelight.
Sherrock has had a whirlwind four days since that stunning victory, appearing on TV and radio networks across the UK and in media outlets worldwide, but now returns to the stage with a different sort of pressure on her shoulders.
The former women’s world finalist is already guaranteed the biggest pay-cheque (£15,000) ever picked up by a female darts player but will not be content to stop there and will hope to feed off the vociferous support of the Ally Pally crowd in a bid to made headlines once again.
Standing in the way of Sherrock and a place in the Last 32 is unflappable Austrian Suljovic – who will look to spoil the party and press home his vast experience.
The former Champions League of Darts winner and two-time major ranking finalist has had a relatively quiet season by his standards but will be determined to end it on a high and improve on a below-par record which has seen him fail to progress beyond the Last 16 stage here in 11 attempts.
Elsewhere, Glen Durrant launches his quest to create a slice of history when he takes on Australian ace Damon Heta.
Reigning and three-time Lakeside Champion Durrant is aiming to become the first player ever to hold the BDO and PDC world titles simultaneously and claim a fairy-tale debut triumph at Ally Pally.
The Middlesbrough marksman has enjoyed a sensational first season as a PDC Tour Card holder after narrowly coming through Qualifying School, reaching the Semi-Finals of the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Grand Slam, while also picking up two Players Championship titles.
Having witnessed a number of big names crash out so far, Durrant will be wary of the threat posed by Heta – who is no stranger to a scalp on the televised stage.
Heta defied the odds to claim glory in August’s Brisbane Masters and pulled off an impressive debut win over two-time PDC ranking event winner Jose De Sousa in Round One.
World number six Daryl Gurney aims to hit the ground running by staving off a gruelling test from former major semi-finalist Justin Pipe.
Gurney won his first European Tour title this season to add to a runner-up spot in the Melbourne Masters and a Semi-Final defeat at the World Matchplay.
A quarter-finalist here in 2016/17, Gurney has bowed out prior to the Last 16 stage in his five other appearances at Ally Pally and can ill-afford to be off his game against the methodical Taunton thrower.
Pipe dug deep to defeat Slovenian qualifier Benjamin Pratnemer in a deciding set in Round One in his first appearance here since the notorious ‘cough-gate’ saga two years ago.
Elsewhere, two raw darting talents collide in a repeat of the 2017 World Youth Championship final as Dimitri van den Bergh faces Josh Payne.
Van den Bergh won that title 6-3 before retaining it the following year, and that proved the catalyst for a superb run to the Quarter-Finals in this competition in 2017.
Van den Bergh has reached two ProTour finals this season and is now established among the world’s top 32 as Belgium’s new top-ranked star.
Payne produced a dominant display to defeat Brazil’s Diogo Portela in straight sets with a 96.5 average, and the world number 45 is now aiming to reach the Last 32 for the first time.
The action gets underway from 7pm GMT, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of five sets, best of five legs per set.
A tie-break will be in operation, where the final set must be won by two clear legs. If the score reaches 5-5, the 11th leg will be sudden-death.
William Hill World Championship 2019/20 Match Schedule
Saturday December 21
7.15pm Daryl Gurney v Justin Pipe
8.15pm Glen Durrant v Damon Heta
9.15pm Mensur Suljovic v Fallon Sherrock
10.15pm Dimitri Van den Bergh v Josh Payne