Michael van Gerwen held firm to edge out Jose De Sousa in a last-leg decider for a place in the…
Michael van Gerwen held firm to edge out Jose De Sousa in a last-leg decider for a place in the UK Open Quarter-Finals, as Krzysztof Ratajski thrashed in-form Jonny Clayton.
Reigning champion Van Gerwen continued the defence of his title with victories over Mensur Suljovic and De Sousa in the fifth and sixth rounds respectively on Day Two of the multi-board event in Milton Keynes.
Following a comfortable 10-4 success over Suljovic which saw him average 103.8, the Dutchman was pushed all the way by De Sousa, eventually producing a strong last leg to come through the decider.
“I think I played a good game but there were too many points I should have done better,” said Van Gerwen.
“I let him come back a couple of times into the game and I should put him more under pressure and I should have taken advantage more of my chances and I didn’t do that.
“I can only blame myself for that unfortunately, but a win is a win and you need to try to take the positives out of the game because that’s really important, and we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow.”
Van Gerwen will now take on Krzysztof Ratajski in Sunday afternoon’s Quarter-Finals after the Polish number one impressed with averages of 100.5 and 103.5 in victories over Madars Razma and Clayton.
“Krzysztof is a great player and it’s a tough draw again, but you have to beat everyone if you want to win this tournament,” added Van Gerwen.
“I need to make sure I concentrate on my own form and then I’m sure I can do more damage in this tournament.
“When he plays against me he’s going to feel more under pressure as well – it’s a totally different game for him playing any other players than playing me.”
It was a comfortable day for world number one Gerwyn Price, who began with a 10-3 rout of Ricky Evans, before averaging 102 in a 10-5 success over Chris Dobey.
The reigning World Champion will be looking to add a first UK Open title to his collection on Sunday on his 36th birthday, having reached the final twice in the past four years.
“I’m happy with my work so far, but there’s a lot more to come from me and I’ll have to produce it if I’m going to win this title,” said Price.
“One minute I feel like I can’t miss and two minutes later I can’t hit a barn door.
“I’m getting more confident as the weekend goes by, every game I’m progressing and getting better so hopefully if I get to the final I produce my best game.
“It would be a good birthday present to even get to the final, and even nicer to win.”
Price’s next assignment will see him take on Devon Petersen after the South African ace secured victories over Yorkshire duo Scott Waites and Peter Jacques to reach the Last Eight for the first time since 2015.
James Wade, the 2008 and 2011 champion, continued his quest for a third UK open title with typically efficient wins over Rob Cross and Gabriel Clemens.
Wade will now meet Simon Whitlock in the Quarter-Finals after the Australian came through successive last-leg deciders against Darius Labanauskas and Brendan Dolan to reach the Last Eight for only the second time.
Dave Chisnall, semi-finalist in 2012, continued his bid for a maiden televised title with victories over Danny Noppert, in which he averaged 104.4, and impressive Scottish newcomer Alan Soutar.
World number seven Chisnall will now take on former World Youth Champion Luke Humphries, who defeated Ryan Searle and Martijn Kleermaker to reach his first televised Quarter-Final outside of the World Championship.
Sunday’s Finals Day will see the draw for the Semi-Finals made at the conclusion of the Quarter-Finals, before the semis and final are contested in the evening session.
Ladbrokes UK Open 2021 Results
Saturday March 6
James Wade 10-7 Rob Cross
Gerwyn Price 10-3 Ricky Evans
José de Sousa 10-9 Michael Smith
Michael van Gerwen 10-4 Mensur Suljovic
Simon Whitlock 10-9 Darius Labanauskas
Gabriel Clemens 10-7 Daryl Gurney
Chris Dobey 10-1 John Brown
Jonny Clayton 10-3 Dirk van Duijvenbode
Luke Humphries 10-7 Ryan Searle
Martijn Kleermaker 10- Callan Rydz
Alan Soutar 10-7 Ron Meulenkamp
Brendan Dolan 10-6 Luke Woodhouse
Peter Jacques 10-9 Max Hopp
Devon Petersen 10-5 Scott Waites
Krzysztof Ratajski 10-8 Madars Razma
Dave Chisnall 10-8 Danny Noppert
Dave Chisnall 10-8 Alan Soutar
Krzysztof Ratajski 10-3 Jonny Clayton
Gerwyn Price 10-5 Chris Dobey
Michael van Gerwen 10-9 Jose de Sousa
Luke Humphries 10-4 Martijn Kleermaker
Devon Petersen 10-4 Peter Jacques
Simon Whitlock 10-9 Brendan Dolan
James Wade 10-5 Gabriel Clemens