The final eight battle it out for the season’s first televised silverware at the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters in Milton Keynes…
The final eight battle it out for the season’s first televised silverware at the 2022 Ladbrokes Masters in Milton Keynes on Sunday.
The season-opening invitational started out with 24 of the world’s top players on Friday, now just eight remain in contention for the £60,000 top prize at the Marshall Arena.
Day Three sees the Quarter-Finals contested in the afternoon, before the Semi-Finals and final take centre stage in the evening session.
Jonny Clayton puts his title on the line with a show-down against a familiar opponent in world number one Gerwyn Price.
Clayton, whose success on this stage 12 months ago sparked a burst of four televised titles during a landmark season, is bidding to become only the second player to retain this trophy.
The world number eight came through a dramatic last-leg decider with Dimitri van den Bergh in his opener on Saturday, averaging 100 in the process, and now comes up against his former World Cup winning team-mate in a repeat of last October’s World Grand Prix final.
Price, who surrendered the World Championship title at the start of this month, began his new campaign with a 10-8 victory over Ryan Searle and is out to clinch this title for the first tine, having reached the Semi-Finals last year.
Another box office battle sees five-time Masters champion Michael van Gerwen take on player of the tournament so far – Joe Cullen.
Van Gerwen won this title in consecutive years from 2015-2019 and is out to regain the trophy and make an immediate statement of intention for the new season, having picked up only the Nordic Masters title in front of the TV cameras in 2021.
The world number three, who was withdrawn from the World Championship due to a positive Covid test, recovered from 9-7 down and survived five match darts to snatch a 10-9 win over Luke Humphries on Saturday with an average of 91.5.
Cullen, meanwhile, has produced two unstoppable displays en route to the Quarter-Finals, defeating Daryl Gurney 6-2 before hammering Gary Anderson 10-1 with a 106.3 average and 75 per cent on the doubles.
Cullen was beaten by MVG in an epic World Championship Last 16 clash two years ago and will be out to gain a degree of revenge as he chases a first televised triumph and a possible Premier League place.
The opening Quarter-Final tie sees St Helens stars Dave Chisnall and Michael Smith go head-to-head.
Smith has seemingly picked up from where he left off at Alexandra Palace 26 days ago, averaging 105.5 in a 10-6 win over Krzysztof Ratajski in the Last 16.
Smith, runner-up here in 2020, is on a mission to atone for his World Championship final heartbreak and is set for a heavy-scoring show-down with the 2016 Masters finalist.
Chisnall has coasted into a fourth consecutive Masters Quarter-Final for the loss of just four legs, whitewashing Stephen Bunting 6-0 before averaging 100 in a 10-4 rout of James Wade on Saturday.
Simon Whitlock has once again taken full advantage of an unexpected late call-up to an event by reaching his first Masters Quarter-Final since 2013.
The Australian, who stepped in for Danny Noppert, backed up his First Round win over Dirk van Duijvenbode with a 10-8 scalp of reigning and two-time World Champion Peter Wright.
Whitlock reached the Semi-Finals of the 2020 World Grand Prix as a stand-by qualifier and will look to do the same here at the expense of world number seven Jose de Sousa.
De Sousa, making only his second appearance in this event, secured his first win by overcoming European Champion Rob Cross 10-7 with a 98.7 average, and the Premier League finalist looks to be returning to form after a disappointing end to 2021.
The action gets under way from 12.45pm GMT, with Quarter-Final matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.
Ladbrokes Masters 2022 Day Three Schedule
Sunday January 30
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)
Dave Chisnall v Michael Smith
Gerwyn Price v Jonny Clayton
Simon Whitlock v Jose de Sousa
Michael van Gerwen v Joe Cullen
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)
Price/Clayton v Chisnall/Smith
Whitlock/De Sousa v Van Gerwen/Cullen