Glen Durrant and Dimitri Van den Bergh set up a tantalising Semi-Final at the 2020 World Matchplay with hard-fought wins…
Glen Durrant and Dimitri Van den Bergh set up a tantalising Semi-Final at the 2020 World Matchplay with hard-fought wins over Vincent van der Voort and Adrian Lewis on Friday.
Durrant secured his spot in the Last Four of the prestigious major for a second successive year with a resilient revival from 10-5 down to eventually see off Van der Voort 18-16 in a tie-break.
Van den Bergh, meanwhile, fended off a Lewis fightback from 8-2 down to close out a 16-12 success and reach the Semi-Finals in his debut Betfred World Matchplay campaign.
The Belgian ace began the night by securing a spot in his first major ranking Semi-Final in style, holding his nerve to end the resurgent run of the two-time World Champion.
“It’s a fantastic feeling – amazing and unbelievable,” said Van den Bergh. “It’s my first semi-final in a major and I’m showing the world that I have it in me.
“I’m in the semi-finals and I want to win that now and see how far I can get.
“It would be a dream come true to win this event but I’ll take it round by round and I’ll be practising, fighting and believing in my own ability.
“I’m so happy about my game and I know that I’ve learned from each match. I keep learning and I keep digging in and I’m chasing my dreams.
“When he came back I had to keep playing my game.
“It’s the first time I’ve played a game of the first to 16 but match-play is all about legs, not sets, and I took the chances I got on my doubles.”
Despite an early 12-darter from Lewis, which featured a 102 finish, Van den Bergh quickly established a 6-1 advantage with the aid of four 180s, a 177 and a 164 checkout.
Lewis hit back by taking out 161 in leg eight, but Van den Bergh finished tops and 104 to move six legs clear, and then retained that cushion by trading 13-darters with the Stoke ace to lead 10-4.
Lewis took four of the next five – including trading 11-darters with Van den Bergh – as he cut the gap to 11-8, but three in a row moved the Belgian 14-8 up.
Lewis again hit back, winning three successive legs, but Van den Bergh had enough cushion to eventually secure his spot in the Last Four with a 66 finish.
The drama of that contest was eclipsed in a tense final game of the round as Van der Voort’s best run in the event for 11 years came to an agonising end.
The Dutchman started the stronger as he opened up an early 4-1 lead and extended his advantage to 6-2 and 8-4 before legs of 13 and 11 darts moved him five clear at 10-5.
Durrant won three of the next four, including a 108 finish, as he pulled back to 11-8, before punishing a string of missed doubles from the Dutchman to draw level at 14-all in a run of legs which included a ten-darter.
A classy 92 finish on the bull moved Durrant ahead for the first time at 15-14, and he then took out 85 and 115 to hold throw as the tie-break continued before competing his comeback by finishing 75 on tops.
Van der Voort departed the stage furiously after venting his frustration towards referee Kirk Bevins – who had earlier disallowed a dart from the Dutchman due to an underarm throw.
“I’ve no idea how I won that game,” admitted Durrant. “That’s the most frustrating game I’ve ever played.
“Vincent will be devastated because the better player lost but sometimes you need a bit of luck to get you through.
“I don’t think I ever settled but sometimes you have to rely on experience. I was beaten but I’ve got through and to reach back-to-back semi-finals in this event is tremendous.
“I want to go to the next level now. It’s a massive opportunity – the top four seeds have fallen and I’ve dodged a bullet tonight.”
Saturday’s other Semi-Final sees 2018 champion Gary Anderson take on 2019 runner-up Michael Smith in another mouth-watering tie.
Betfred World Matchplay 2020 Results
Friday July 24
Dimitri Van den Bergh 16-12 Adrian Lewis
Glen Durrant 18-16 Vincent van der Voort