The final four face off at the 2022 World Matchplay in Blackpool on Saturday as the Semi-Final action takes centre…
The final four face off at the 2022 World Matchplay in Blackpool on Saturday as the Semi-Final action takes centre stage.
A quartet of major title winners remain in the running for the record £200,000 top prize and the Phil Taylor Trophy as the prestigious Winter Gardens show-piece heads for a fascinating climax.
Two former World Matchplay champions are among those left standing and will go head-to-head for the right to reach Sunday’s decider.
Michael van Gerwen, back-to-back winner here in 2015 and 2016, takes on 2020 champion Dimitri van den Bergh in their most high-profile meeting to date.
Van Gerwen is bidding to become the outright second most successful player in the history of the World Matchplay, behind Phil Taylor, and back up last month’s Premier League triumph with a second major title of the season.
The Dutch star came into this event as the number four seed, having undergone surgery on his throwing arm which forced him to miss the World Cup of Darts and four subsequent Players Championship events.
An average of 89.6 was enough for him to battle past 2013 finalist Adrian Lewis in Round One, before thrashing Joe Cullen 11-5 with a 97 average in a repeat of last month’s Premier League final and going on to deny Nathan Aspinall 16-14 in an epic Quarter-Final.
Van den Bergh has continued his love affair with this competition and has now won 12 of his 13 matches in total, storming into a third consecutive Semi-Final.
The Belgian ace thrashed Callan Rydz 10-2 before overcoming Rowby-John Rodriguez 11-6 and then dethroning reigning champion Peter Wright courtesy of a pulsating 16-14 success with an average of 102.
The back-to-back World Series event winner has already gone some way towards defending his title-winning prize money from two years ago against his world ranking and is now vying to become the fifth player to have reached three or more World Matchplay finals.
The opening Semi-Final sees two players battling it out for a place in a first World Matchplay final as Gerwyn Price takes on Danny Noppert.
Price, making his eighth World Matchplay appearance, had previously never been beyond the Quarter-Final stage of this competition but has reversed his Blackpool jinx in style this week.
His ground-breaking run, combined with Wright’s Quarter-Final exit, has already seen him reclaim the world number one spot, and the Welshman now looks to add this trophy to his haul of seven televised titles.
Price opened up with a 10-8 victory over German debutant Martin Schindler before defeating Dave Chisnall 11-8 and withstanding a Jose de Sousa rally to seal a 16-14 triumph with a tournament-high average of 104.64 on Friday.
UK Open champion Noppert also finds himself in uncharted territory after continuing his blistering spell of form, and is now within sight of a second major title in the space of four months.
Noppert reeled off six consecutive legs from 6-4 down to dispatch Brendan Dolan in his opener with a 100.7 average, before thrashing Daryl Gurney 11-4 with a 102.3 average and defeating World Cup team-mate Dirk van Duijvenbode 16-11 in the Last Eight.
He has previously tasted success over Price in this event, having prevailed 10-7 in the opening round in Milton Keynes two years ago.
The Semi-Final action gets under way from 8pm BST, with matches to be contested over the best of 33 legs.
All matches must be won by two clear legs, with a match being extended if necessary for a maximum of six extra legs before a sudden death leg is required.
Betfred World Matchplay 2022 Semi-Finals Schedule
Saturday July 23
8.15pm Danny Noppert v Gerwyn Price
9.45pm Dimitri van den Bergh v Michael van Gerwen
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