The 2020 UK Open draws to a close at Butlins Minehead on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls battle to…
The 2020 UK Open draws to a close at Butlins Minehead on Sunday as the eight remaining hopefuls battle to be crowned champion.
There have been ten different winners and 16 different runners-up since the tournament began in 2003, and only one former champion and two former runners-up are left standing in this year’s field.
A total of 159 players started out on Friday, but despite the unique open draw format and multi-board setup, the cream has risen in a high quality Quarter-Final line-up.
Michael van Gerwen remains favourite to open his account for 2020 by ending his mini title drought, but faces a mouth-watering show-down with world number four Rob Cross.
Van Gerwen is looking to follow up his back-to-back successes here in 2015 and 2016 to become only the second player in history to claim three UK Open titles.
The world number one has had to do it the hard way so far, ending the reign of defending champion Nathan Aspinall in his opener before edging out rank outsider Jason Lowe in a deciding leg and overcoming two-time champion James Wade.
Mighty Mike boasts an emphatic head-to-head record over Cross, having won 17 of their 20 previous meetings, including last year’s Premier League final.
Cross has continued his love affair with the Ladbrokes UK Open by reaching the Last Eight for the third year in a row, evoking memories of where his career began in effect when he made the Last 32 as an amateur qualifier in 2016.
It was Van Gerwen who ended his run that year, hitting a nine-darter in the process, and Cross will be keen to end a run of six straight defeats and move a step closer to a fourth major title.
The opening Quarter-Final sees Gerwyn Price look to progress to a fifth consecutive major Semi-Final at the expense of Belgian ace Dimitri van den Bergh.
Price’s clinical consistency has made him a key contender in every tournament he competes in, and 2017 runner-up will fancy his chances of going one better this evening.
The back-to-back Grand Slam champion recorded 10-3 routs of Danny Noppert and Ricky Evans before holding his nerve in a last-leg decider to edge out Gabriel Clemens with a 102.8 average.
Van den Bergh is appearing in only his fourth major Quarter-Final and a second in a row following his exploits in the World Championship, though this will be his first test against a player ranked inside the world’s top 64 this weekend.
Jelle Klaasen has embarked on a resurgent run to his first televised Quarter-Final since October 2016 and has been drawn to face two-time major champion Daryl Gurney.
Former Lakeside Champion Klaasen has been hampered by an elbow injury in recent years but appears fit and firing again, following up a 10-1 demolition of Steve West with a tense 10-9 scalp of 2018 champion Gary Anderson.
Gurney is aiming to reach his second UK Open Semi-Final, having fallen short to Peter Wright in 2017, but he returned the favour with a 10-6 victory on Saturday night.
Gurney defeated Klaasen 10-9 in their last televised encounter which came in the Last 64 of this event two years ago and the pair could be set for a similarly close rematch.
Another potentially close-run tie sees Saturday’s nine-dart hero Jonny Clayton take on Czech Open champion Jamie Hughes.
Clayton ended the four-year wait for a perfect leg in the UK Open as he nailed the nine on his way to defeating Chris Dobey on Stage Two.
The Welsh star will be brimming with confidence as he gears up for his first major Quarter-Final since the 2018 Players Championship Finals in this very venue.
Hughes, meanwhile, finds himself in a first PDC major Quarter-Final following wins over Nathan Rafferty, Brendan Dolan, Martin Atkins and Mensur Suljovic.
The Tipton thrower is enjoying a rapid rise up the PDC rankings and will be quietly confident of challenging for glory on finals day.
The action gets underway from 12.30pm, with Quarter-Finals to be contested over the best of 19 legs and Semi-Finals and final best of 21.
The draw for the Semi-Finals will take place live on the Main Stage immediately following the conclusion of the fourth Quarter-Final.
Ladbrokes UK Open 2020 Match Schedule
Sunday March 8
Afternoon Session (12.45pm-4.30pm)
Dimitri van den Bergh v Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney v Jelle Klaasen
Jamie Hughes v Jonny Clayton
Evening Session (7pm-11pm)