The final four face off at Alexandra Palace on Saturday for the right to book a date with destiny in…
The final four face off at Alexandra Palace on Saturday for the right to book a date with destiny in the 2020/21 World Darts Championship final.
Ninety-six players from 29 nations started out on December 15, now just four remain in the running for the Sid Waddell Trophy and £500,000 first prize.
Only one of the final four knows what it takes to go all the way in the sport’s blue riband event, while the race for the world number one spot provides a fascinating sub-plot.
Gary Anderson is bidding for a third William Hill World Championship title, having reigned consecutively in 2015 and 2016, but faces a formidable test against man of the moment Dave Chisnall.
The night’s second Semi-Final sees two of the sport’s most renowned power-scorers lock horns as Anderson aims to deny Chisnall a first appearance in a PDC world final.
Anderson, who celebrated his 50th birthday less than fortnight ago, has turned on the style on the sport’s most iconic stage once again, continuing his superb record in this competition.
The Flying Scotsman is appearing in his fifth Semi-Final from his last seven Ally Pally appearances, with Michael van Gerwen (2018/19) the only player to have previously beaten him at this stage of the tournament.
With MVG now out of the equation, Anderson is aiming to defy the odds and eclipse Jocky Wilson’s tally of two world titles to become Scotland’s outright most successful darter of all-time.
Anderson has been riddled with injury problems this season but has put that behind him here, defeating Madars Razma 3-1 and Mensur Suljovic 4-3 before whitewashing Devon Petersen 4-0 in the Last 16.
He then produced his best performance of the tournament so far to thrash in-form Dirk van Duijenbode 5-1 with a 101 average on Friday afternoon.
The World Matchplay finalist now comes up against a player who enjoyed the best win of his career less than 24 hours ago, whitewashing a helpless Van Gerwen 5-0 with a stunning 107.3 average 14 maximums.
Chisnall created a slice of personal history as he ended his 27-game winless run against the world number one and booked a place in a first PDC World Championship Semi-Final.
Runner-up at Lakeside in 2010, ‘Chizzy’ is looking to finally end his wait for an elusive maiden PDC major and fittingly do so on the biggest stage of all.
Chisnall, who boasts a tournament average of 101, will be determined to back up last night’s heroic performance and improve on a head-to-head record of just five wins from his 24 previous meetings with Anderson.
The opening Semi-Final sees two players vying to reach their first PDC World Championship final as third seed Gerwyn Price faces a rejuvenated Stephen Bunting.
Price is appearing in his second successive Semi-Final at Ally Pally, having lost out to eventual champion Peter Wright 12 months ago.
The reigning World Grand Prix and World Cup winner was given a major scare by Brendan Dolan in the Last 32 but held his nerve to prevail in a dramatic sudden death leg.
He also came from a set down to edge out compatriot Jamie Lewis in Round Two but was clinical in dispatching Mervyn King 4-1 in the Last 16.
The Quarter-Finals also saw him flirt with elimination as Daryl Gurney hit back from two sets down to force a decider, but the nerveless Welshman held firm to edge over the line in sudden death once again.
As well as the world title on the line, ‘The Ice Man’ also knows he that if he was to be crowned World Champion on Sunday night, he would also become the new world number one.
Bunting, meanwhile, has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence following a lengthy spell in the darting doldrums and is through to his first major Semi-Final since the 2015 UK Open.
The 2014 BDO World Champion is already guaranteed to climb at least nine places in the Order of Merit, back up to 17th, but would move to fourth if he was to claim glory.
The former Premier League star has battled his way through two sudden death shoot-outs en route to this stage, starting against Andy Boulton in Round Two and going on to narrowly defeat Ryan Searle 4-3.
Between those nail-biting victories was a superb comeback win over James Wade in which he recovered from 2-0 down and shrugged off a nine-dart finish from his opponent to prevail 4-2.
He then sealed his spot in the semis with a 5-3 victory over Krzysztof Ratajski, averaging 101 in his most impressive display so far.
Bunting has beaten Price on a big stage in recent years, prevailing 13-12 in an epic clash at the 2019 World Matchplay, and will look to apply the pressure on the world number three from the outset.
The action gets underway from 6pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 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
Saturday January 2
6.15pm Gerwyn Price v Stephen Bunting
8.00pm Dave Chisnall v Gary Anderson