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Luke Littler storms into UK Open Quarter-Finals as Lukeman ousts Anderson

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Dimitri van den Bergh denies Luke Humphries in dramatic decider to claim UK Open title

UK Open Darts 2024 | Day Three Preview and Order of Play

Jamie Shaw in UK Open 03 Mar 2024
Bunting and Humphries meet again

The 2024 UK Open draws to a close in Minehead on Sunday as the final eight face off for the right to claim the crown.

Friday morning saw 158 players descend on the Butlins Minehead Resort, now just eight remain in pursuit of the £110,000 top prize.

With play having been held across eight stages during the first two days of the event, focus now shifts solely to the Main Stage, with the afternoon’s Quarter-Finals followed by the Semi-Finals and final in the evening session.

A new name is guaranteed on the UK Open trophy, with only two of the remaining hopefuls having previously featured in the final of this prestigious tournament.

A mouth-watering start to proceedings sees world number one and World Champion Luke Humphries take on Masters champion Stephen Bunting.

Humphries reached his first major final at the UK Open behind closed doors in 2021 and has gone on to claim four major titles since last October to assert his authority at the top of the sport.

The Premier League star dispatched Dirk van Duijvenbode 10-7 with a 101 average on Friday, before thrashing Denmark’s Benjamin Drue Reus 10-3 and brushing aside veteran Mervyn King 10-4 in the Last 16.

Bunting is appearing at this stage of the UK Open for the first time since 2015 after dispatching Danny Lauby 10-3 before holding his nerve in tense last-leg deciders against both Kevin Doets and Peter Wright on Saturday.

The Bullet is bidding for back-to-back televised titles after his landmark success at The Masters last month – where he defeated Humphries 10-7 along the way.

Rob Cross continues his quest to go one better than his runner-up spot here in 2019 when he takes on a resurgent Ricky Evans.

Cross has maintained the blistering form which led him to the final of Night Five of the Premier League last Thursday, dropping a combined total of 11 legs in wins over Rowby-John Rodriguez, Josh Rock and Keane Barry to reach the quarter-finals of this event for the fifth time since 2018.

Evans, meanwhile, is through to the Last Eight of a televised ranking tournament for the first time since the 2019 European Championship, following wins over Lee Evans, Scott Williams, Mike De Decker and Luke Woodhouse.

The two-time European Tour event finalist is now vying to enter uncharted territory as he seeks a maiden major semi-final to continue his superb start to the season.

Luke Littler looks to remain on course for a first PDC major title by overcoming Australian number one Damon Heta.

Littler, who featured in last year’s UK Open as a Rileys amateur qualifier, averaged 101.8 in a 10-7 victory over three-time champion James Wade in Friday’s opener, landing a trademark 170 checkout in the process.

The World Championship finalist then saw off Martin Schindler 10-8 and Dave Chisnall 10-5 with further ton-plus averages to underline his position as the bookmaker’s favourite for the title.

The 17-year-old has been drawn to face world number 11 Heta – a player desperate to break through the quarter-final barrier in a televised ranking event.

Heta has lost out at this stage on six previous occasions since 2020, including the UK Open in 2022, and faces a formidable task if he is to halt the fearless youngster.

The former World Cup of Darts winner has rode his luck somewhat this weekend, recovering from 8-4 down to defeat 2019 champion Nathan Aspinall 10-9, before hitting back from 7-3 behind to deny Gian van Veen 10-8.

Dimitri van den Bergh marks his third UK Open quarter-final appearance with a clash against an inspired Martin Lukeman.

Van den Bergh reached the semi-finals here 12 months ago and has marked a fine return to form with victories over Brendan Dolan, Vincent van der Voort and Jonny Clayton.

Lukeman, meanwhile, is into only his second major quarter-final, following on from the 2022 World Grand Prix, and now stands on the verge of the world’s top 32 after wins over Jermaine Wattimena, Leonard Gates and former champions Danny Noppert and Gary Anderson.

His 10-5 success over Anderson on Stage Two saw him average 100.3 and remarkably convert ten of his 13 attempts at doubles.

The action gets under way from 12.45pm GMT, with Quarter-Final ties to be contested over the best of 19 legs, while the Semi-Finals and final are best of 21.


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UK Open 2024 Day Three Schedule

Sunday March 3

Afternoon Session (12.45pm-5pm)

Stephen Bunting v Luke Humphries
Ricky Evans v Rob Cross
Damon Heta v Luke Littler
Martin Lukeman v Dimitri van den Bergh

Evening Session (7pm-11pm)



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